Media & Press Releases 2013

Payne Makes it Two for Two

21 May 2013

Darren Payne and son Saxon have taken out last weekend’s Huntington Tavern Wildest Off Road Dash, round two of the state series held at Kempton. Second outright and second in Pro-Lite was Chris Boon in his Hayabusa powered buggy, followed home in third outright and making it a trifecta for Pro-Lite was Chris Branch and Lisa Stalker in their Hornet buggy.


Competitors and officials were greeted with a cold start to the morning but with clear skies above and a dry track the stage was set for a great day of racing.

The flag dropped for prologue at 9am with thirthteen cars set to take on two laps of the shortened track. Payne was the first away and stamped his authority early in the event setting the fastest time - all be it with a spin on the first lap.

Byron Murfet’s Titan Truck was next on the timesheets with a blistering run grabbing huge air across the sidelining run keeping the crowd on their feet; Murfet’s reward was position two on the grid.


Sandwiched third on the front row between Murfet and Whelan was the Pro-Lite Rivmasta buggy of Brad Rockliff; Rockliff quickly coming to grips with his first drive of the Kempton circuit.

Heat one saw Payne lead from the start with Luke Whelan quickly slotting into second followed by Murfet and then Rockliff in fourth. Murfet was the first to fall mid heat suffering from fuel problems and electing to park the truck for the remainder of the event. Chris Boon moved through the field after a disappointing prologue to be fourth on the road by heat end.

At the start of heat two Whelan got the jump on Payne and lead the field as they headed out onto the extended section of track for the first time; however this was short lived for Whelan, being passed by Payne several laps into the heat.

Rockliff had settled into third and was driving the wheels of the beam axle Rivmasta impressing all with a fantastic drive, but four laps from the end a rear shock mount broke forcing him to the pits for repairs and relinquishing his position to Boon.


Heat three saw the positions at the front stay unchanged. Rockliff, able to restart had however dropped several laps while repairs had been carried out on the shock mount.

Andrew and James Giffard were struggling with a frustrating electrical problem all day in their super 1650 - the brothers eventually retiring from the event.

New comer Michael Stalker was settling in well, eventually being the lead super 1650 in his first event. Chris Branch was reaping the reward of consistent lap times, obvious that off season improvements were paying off with the Pro-Lite now third in class and fourth outright.

As the field rolled out for the last heat the 78 Pro Buggy of Whelan remained behind, eventually running out of pit time and not making the start line as the team had discovered during service a rock had cracked the diff housing evacuating the oil. The crew were able to repair the housing enough for Luke to re-join but the Boomharra had to be tamed with Whelan only able to nurse the Pro –Buggy to the finish.


Chris Boon had struggled with several tyre issues during the race but had stayed on the lead lap and was now second outright and able to hold this position till the finish.

Chris Branch had also succumbed to several punctures during the day but was still going strong and finishing in a well-deserved third outright and third in class.


At event end it was the Pro-Lite of Darren Payne that grabbed the chequered flag making it a perfect start for 2013 with two outright wins from two state series events. Payne contributed his success this year to the continued support from long time sponsors Tongs Sheet Metal, Joe Cook Ag and the engine development and tuning from Andrew Lawson and his team at Confidyne Motorsport in Ulverstone.

Second outright in the Frontline Motorcycles Pro-Lite was Chris Boon, earning him enough points to be second in the championship behind Payne. Boon hoping further development with his machine will see him able to chase down the series leader in future rounds.

Chris Branch and the teams’ hard work in the off season paid off grabbing him third outright and third in Pro-Lite, Branch now in fourth outright for the series and closing the gap on third place Brad Rockliff.

Story and images by Michael Donohoe

It's Time for the Wildest Dash!

14 May 2013

This Saturday Round Two of the Tasmanian Off Road State Series heads to the small town of Kempton 30km north of Hobart on the midlands highway for the Huntington Tavern Wildest Dash.

The Kempton track is set centrally on the Whelan’s family property adjacent to the Midlands highway with easy access for teams and spectators from the centre of town.


The circuit only used once a year has several track options; being the short 4.5km circuit or the extension through the “infamous” fence, adding another 4km into a neighbouring property.

Spectators will be well looked after with all of the short track visible from the banks of the main viewing area and as always the fire pots will be stacked high and the food and coffee hot.

The Southern Off Road Racing Association have received a good number of entries so far and are hoping to top the numbers up this week with entries still being accepted until race day.

Heading the charge Saturday will be the Pro Buggy of Luke and Billy Whelan; after missing the first round at Latrobe due to interstate work commitments Luke will be on a mission to grab some points for his 2013 title chase. In what could be the last event held at this track and the race being held in memory of his late Grandmother Luke would love nothing more than to add this win to the history books.

The team have spent the early part of 2013 prepping the car for the season ahead and have left nothing to chance this year with the Mopar powered Boomharra buggy. Luke set a blistering pace at last year’s event leading the field until gearbox dramas halted his assault mid race, something hopefully rectified with the installation of a Fortin Truggy box late last year.


Also returning to the 2013 season will be the Extreme 4WD of Darren Bott and Lyndon Kettle; with recent suspension and brake upgrades the Chev powered GU Patrol is ready to go.

Jack and Emily Radcliff will also be making their first appearance for the year after a complete bare frame rebuild over the off season for their pro-lite Verco Hornet.

Racing starts at 9.00am with the prologue followed by the first of four sections at 10.30am.


Admission for an adult is $10.00 and kids under 16 are free, canteen facilities will be available all day.

Story and images by Michael Donohoe offroadracingtasmania

Tasmanian Season Opener

16 April 2013


Darren Payne and Kerri Wallace have started the 2013 season with a clean sweep last weekend at Latrobe taking outright honours in the first Tasmanian State Series round for 2013.

Second outright was Chris Boon in his Hayabusa powered Pro-Lite followed by Brad Rockliff home in third in his Hunter Rivmasta.

The Latrobe circuit had undergone major drainage and surface preparation prior to the event and despite rain the night before and up until start time the track was in fantastic shape. The efforts of the North West Off Road Car Club paying off producing a near perfect race track with no dust and a surface that got faster and faster as the day went on. Despite the disappointment of unusually low numbers for this event spectators were treated to some traditional short course wheel to wheel racing all day. 


Payne’s weekend started with clocking the fastest prologue time earning him the sought after pole line at Latrobe, his day only got better from there leading the event from start to finish.

Wayne Cambell and Stuart O’Brian started their season in a blaze setting some impressive lap times in the 28 Pro Buggy, but midway through the second section the rear mounts on the diff failed sidelining the car for the remainder of the event.

The first round also saw the return of James and Andrew Giffard to the sport in a super 1650 after several years away racing; the boys previously campaigning a Datsun sedan in Performance 2WD.  The brothers took the fight up to reigning 1650 state champions Adrian and Mel Lowry in what was a two car battle for a class win which was eventually taken by the Lowry’s.


The Pro-Lite battle was as expected between Payne, Boon and Rockliff - all drivers pushing their cars hard right till the flag dropped. Whilst Payne lead the way Boon and Rockliff raced all day fighting it out for 2nd and 3rd  on the road, Boon setting the fastest lap time for the event late in section four.

The next State Series round will be on the 18th  May,  hosted by the Southern Off Road Racing association at Kempton 30km north of Hobart on the Midlands Highway.

Story and images by Michael Donohoe

Tasmania Set to go Racing

8 April 2013


The first round of the 2013 Tasmania Off Road Racing Series is set to fire this weekend at the Latrobe Arena short course circuit.

It’s been four months since Tassie has had the opportunity to hit the track with many teams taking the opportunity to regroup and build after a hectic 2012 season.

Heading the charge will be current state champions Darren Payne and Kerri Wallace in their VQ35 Nissan powered Pro-Lite buggy, the team focused this year on retaining the number one plate. Payne, who is near completing his newest DWP chassis, has elected to return for 2013 in the “old car” and further develop the team’s new ride for 2014.


Byron Murfet will be back in the Nissan Titan looking to stretch the legs of the truck around the tight 2.6km circuit. Murfet, always spectacular around Latrobe, will be hoping to get miles on the truck and bank some series points.

Another team that’s been working hard in the off season is Dirty Dog Racing from Hobart however they are electing to enter only one of the teams cars for this event. Stuart Obrien and Wayne Campbell will be behind the wheel of the V6 Pro Buggy hoping to continue their success from 2012. The Pro Buggy has a unique V drive system designed in house by the team and is proving to be not only cost effect but ultra-reliable coupled to the Holden V6 engine.

Local drivers Brad Rockliff and Chris Boon will continue where 2012 finished for them - locked in battle both behind the wheels of Pro-Lites. Rockliff piloting a Nissan SR20 powered Hunter Rivmasta and Tiny slotting into his self built Hayabusa powered buggy.


The Latrobe track is in great condition and with expected fine conditions in the area for the remainder of the week spectators are in store for some great racing.

Prologue starts at 10.00 am with the first section getting under way at noon followed by two more sections in the afternoon.

The North West Off Road Car Club will be providing a full canteen which will run all day and spectator entry to the venue is free.


Tatnell Takes on the West!

26 March 2013


Hayden Tatnell will cross over the Western Australia border tonight as he tows his Spec 1 BAT probuggy all the way from Tasmania to contest the opening round of the 2013 AORC season in Hyden this Easter.

Leaving his home shores on Sunday night aboard the Spirit of Tasmania Tatnell said he is looking forward to the long drive and a great race in the West that he has attended twice before.

2012 was a busy one with the addition of child number three to the family, a Tattersall Finke Desert Race, a large building project and to cap it all off his win of the 40th Tasmanian Sand Enduro in November which was the 8th time he has won the milestone event.

Tatnell said the BAT - powered by a Chev LS1, ran faultlessly for the two day race over some 500kms of sandy terrain and is now race ready once again for the job ahead this weekend.

Story by Cara Tatnell

Image supplied by Tim Holmes Productions

Round 1 Only Weeks Away

20 March 2013


The 2013 Tasmanian Off Road Racing season is only weeks away from hitting the track. The first round of the series will start where 2012 finished; at the Latrobe short course circuit hosted by the North West Off Road Car Club on the 13th of April 2013.

Already entries are rolling in and organisers are anticipating a good field of cars all trying to bank some early points in their championship chase.

The 2013 series will consist of five races spread over the year and across four different tracks state-wide. Round one will be a short course event starting with a prologue to determine grid order for the first section followed by two more sections of 45 minutes.

The Latrobe circuit has a reputation of producing spectatucalar racing testing both driver and machine on the tight fast circuit.

The track is currently undergoing major repairs and resurfacing will be complete in coming weeks in readiness for April’s race.

Supp regs and entry are now available and need to be lodged by the 29th of March 2013.

Morice Sets Sail for Portland

21 February 2013


Terry and Lisa Morice will this weekend make their first appearance on mainland sand at the Harvestco King of the Dunes in Portland Victoria.

The husband and wife team have had a long involvement in off road racing for the best part of 30 years as both competitors and club officials in Tasmania.

Terry; who cut his teeth in the sport way back in 1977 at the dunes of St Helens is also credited to building the Hi –Lite buggy chassis, building many cars for Tasmanian customers in the eighties.

This weekend the weapon of choice for the Morice's will be the Chev powered Extreme 2WD Hulcar, originally purchased from Victoria several years ago.

Since its purchase, the Truggy has had some major transformations from Pro Class to an Extreme 2WD truck, complete with a Corr Truck body.

Terry has spent the last few months developing the front suspension in the truck hoping to have improved both the handling and steering of the machine. With a fresh engine early last year all bases have been covered and the truck is ready to attack the Victorian sand.

Morice was last at Portland back in 2000 as a spectator and has been planning his return to the dunes of Discovery Bay this time with his helmet. He is confident that the wide open flowing circuit will allow him to stretch the legs of the Chev and is looking forward to racing wheel to wheel with some of the country's best sand racers.


The event has attracted an excellent field of entrants including the current Australian champions in the SMU Jimco Matt Hanson and Leigh Wells.

Also in the field will be the third placed Tasmanian series winner for 2012 Victorian driver Rod Visser in his Alumi Craft buggy.

The Tasmanian team and crew will arrive late this week in Portland setting up camp at Swan Lake, Discovery Bay ready for the 200km race on Saturday. Live results will be available from

Story and images by

Tassie Crowns 2012 Champions

10 February 2013


The final chapter of the 2012 racing season was completed in late January with the presentation of awards for the State Series champions being held at Hobart's Wrest Point Casino.

Outright Winner: Darren Payne

Outright Co-Driver: Kerri Wallace


Pro Class: Scott Rockliff

Pro Lite Class: Darren Payne

Super 1650: Adrian Lowry


Performance 2WD: Steve Watkins

Extreme 2WD: Terry Morice

4X4 Performance: Dean Maddock


Darren Payne was announced as Off Road Person of the Year, recognizing his third consecutive State Series title and his win in the Portland Sands, becoming the first Tasmanian to take out an interstate Off Road Event.

images supplied by: Elena Udovicic

Payne Takes Out State Series

14 January 2013

Darren Payne and Kerri Wallace have taken out the 2012 Tasmanian Off Road Racing Series making it a hat trick for the Ulverstone based team. 2012 will be Payne's fourth outright Tasmanian Series title in his career and third in consecutive years.

payne portland large

Payne's success in 2012 started in Victoria in late March winning outright in the dunes of Portland at the Harvestco King of The Dunes. The car returned a week later to Tasmania to line up at the first state round at Latrobe finishing second outright to Scott Rockliff.

Round two saw Payne return to the podium in top spot winning the Huntington Tavern Wildest Dash at Kempton in southern Tasmania.

September saw the team head back across the Strait and to the third round of the Australian Off Road Championship; the ARB Teagle Excavations Pines Enduro finishing a creditable 14th outright.

Fresh from the Pines, the crew returned to Tassie with less than a week to prepare the car for the third state round the "20th Anniversary ARB Hobart Kellevie 300". After two days of racing, Payne and Wallace took outright honours for the second time and began to build a healthy points lead in their title chase over second place Rockliff.


The fourth round of the series, the 40th Anniversary Tas Sand Enduro, attracted all the leading state teams and the inclusion of Rod Visser from Victoria. The round win would go to Hayden Tatnell in his first outing of the year, however Payne would lock second position away and with Rockliff not banking any points Payne also clenched the 2012 title at the events end.

The final round of the year saw the series back where it started at Latrobe and with 15 starters including Rod Visser; who left the car in the state after St Helens; this round would be a fight for the minor placings in the state series.

Payne's faultless 2012 run came to a surprising end with suspension failure mid race in his Pro-Lite machine sidelining him the remainder of the event.

At the chequered flag Rockliff had done enough to secure second in the series and with Visser's event win his points bank would reward him with third in the state series after only two races.

visser st helens 2012

Series awards will be presented at the CAMS Motorsports Awards Dinner to be held at Hobart's Wrest Point Casino on the 19th of January 2013.

All event points and final tallies have been updated in the calendar and results page.





















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