The 4th round of the Australian Off Road Racing Championship, the Pedders Suspension Coffs Coast 400, was held on the weekend of 12 – 14 September in conjunction with Rally Australia, a round of the World Rally Championship.
The Chapmans Offroad Racing team was asked along with a few other race teams to promote the sport and show case their teams.
On the Thursday before the race, Chapmans took the Triton to a local school, where Clayton and Adam talked about the race cars and the sport. They both signed posters and took photos with the students and teachers.
On Thursday night the Chapmans took part in the WRC street display in the main street of Coffs Harbour where the drivers were interviewed on main stage. This display allowed the public to get close to the cars. They also gave away countless team posters and stickers. Even international rally teams and drivers were interested in the team’s Extreme 4WD Triton. Clayton and Adam met with Dakar Rally-winning driver Nasser Al-Attiyah and other WRC drivers.
On Friday night Clayton and Adam took part in the driving display held in conjunction with the WRC Super Special Stage in Coffs Harbour showing off the car’s capabilities to the crowds.
Saturday was race day and after rain on Friday night, the 50 km track was looking very slippery in sections. While in the line-up for prologue, the Triton developed an air lock in the fuel system causing the boys to pull out and miss their prologue run. Being seeded into 22nd position for the start of the main race, Clayton and Adam started their 3-lap section well. Part way into the first lap a rock broke off a brake caliper bleeder and caused a loss in brakes. Pulling into the pits at the end of their first lap the pit crew quickly repaired the fault and Clayton and Adam went back out and were able to complete the remaining 2 laps of the 1st section.
Sunday was planned to run with a 3-lap section followed by a 2-lap section to finish the event. The boys were feeling very good in the car and were setting a good pace, passing many cars in the first lap. Halfway through the 50km lap, the front diff failed so they continued in rear wheel drive. Even with this handicap they managed to set the 9th fastest time for that lap, showing the great potential of the car. Due to the extra workload the rear diff began to overheat, so Clayton and Adam made the decision to retire from the event and hopefully save the rear diff.
Although it was a disappointing end for the team, it is great to have no other issues with the car and the team is back in the shed sorting out the diff failures and prepping the car for the final round of the AORC, the TJM Lockyer 300, on 17 October.
Huge thanks to the team’s sponsors: Cooper Tires, Penrite Oil, Chapmans Dyno Tuning and Mitsubishi.