Alumi Craft racers Chris Browning and Justin Watt finished 2nd and 3rd overall at the final round of the Australian Off Road Championship held in the historic township of Rainbow in north western Victoria. The Victorian Off Road Racing Association put together a demanding course at the first time event that included a good combination of fast straights, technical sections through the trees, and desert tracks with natural jumps and whoops. The rains brought muddy conditions that added to the challenge.
Browning took 2nd place overall racing against a slew of higher horsepower Pro Buggies and Extreme trucks. His solid performance also earned him the Prolite Buggy class, season long points championship.
The rains over two days made it a slippery event,” said Browning, “It might have given us a little advantage over the heavier trucks. The first laps on Sunday were very slippery. We caught a truck ahead of us that showered us in mud. We decided it was a good time to stop for fuel.”
Competitors are given time off the clock to stop for fuel, but any work done on the cars has to take place in the pits with the clock running. Their decision to stop when they did allowed them to clean their face shields, and get back out in a better position on the track. Once it was clear ahead, they quickly moved up several spots.
“Once we got back out, we got a good run, and made up time,” Browning continued, “The track dried out and the surface got quite good. You still had to be attentive with the throttle so you wouldn’t end up in the trees, but our lap times continued to go down. Our first lap was a 53:20 and by the end of the day we were running 45:53. It was a really good event for a first time event. The track had a lot of variety.”
Justin Watt was driving a brand new Alumi Craft Extreme 2WD truck owned by Ivan Albins. Justin had 80 miles of testing on the truck in Ocotillo Wells, California before shipping it to Australia, and there was not a bit of mud anywhere. There Rainbow course did have one thing in common with Ocotillo Wells, plenty of whoops.
“It was a rough course; rougher than the Finke race,” said Albins, “We put it to a good test. The Alumi Craft truck was flawless; it’s a great combination. After driving buggies for years, the truck is like a lounge chair, but with excellent handling. It was our first race so we would have been happy just to finish. When you get up on the podium, it’s great!
Desert racing is so demanding on the vehicles and the drivers. It’s hard work but we have a lot of fun. I rang John Cooley as soon as we crossed the finish line on the first day to let him know how we did. The next day I knew it was Sunday in the states so I didn’t want to bother him but he called me. They are really great people, the best we’ve ever worked with. I’m sure Justin would tell you all about how well he likes the truck but he is working the night shift. There is another race coming up in a couple weeks. It’s 16 hours away but if we have enough time to get the truck ready, we might race it there.”
At the Rainbow Desert Enduro, Chris Browning’s consistent speed earned him a podium and a Prolite points championship. Justin Watt put his truck on the box, right out of the box. These Alumi Craft racers proved the performance, versatility, and superior construction provided by their meticulously crafted vehicles. Whether you are racing in the desert, prerunning, competing on the track, or playing in the sand, Alumi Craft is committed to providing you with a competitive, safe and reliable vehicle that exceeds your expectations. If you demand the best, give Alumi Craft a call at 619-596-9841 to find out more about our race products and services.