Jimco Race Cars Sweep the Tantanoola Pines Enduro Podium
They smiled for pictures together, they raised their glasses together, congratulated each other, and together they stood united as Jimco teams, finishing 1, 2, 3 outright at ARB’s season closer; the Tantanoola Pines Enduro race in Millicent.
62-teams made the trek to southern Australia for a two-day enduro race, scheduled to have both a short-course section, and a 70km looped section. Unfortunately, a dark cloud dumped buckets of rain onto the clay through Teagle Quarry, turning the short-course area of the race into a black river of muck. The stage had to be cancelled. The good news was that no race cars would become victims of short course woes, meaning all 62-teams advanced to the sand trails through the Tantanoola Forest on day-2. The field was staged in reverse prologue order, meaning the faster qualifiers, like Matt Hanson, would begin at the back of the pack.
Matt Hanson and the SMU race team has literally had a rebuilding year since their last go at the Pine Enduro in 2015. In heavy dust, Hanson launched his car through the forest at a speed estimated over 200km per hour. Race car body pieces were flung into the branches above as the Jimco steel frame cartwheeled end-over-end, leaving skid marks on tree trunks, 25-feet up. Both Hanson and his co-driver were okay. “Jimco did it’s job,” Hanson said in relief, coming out of the wreckage with no life-threatening injuries.
The #7 Jimco Aussie Special courageously came back to Millicent, showing redemption qualities in prologue, missing the top spot by a mere 6-seconds. Anticipation for this race was already high, but adding to it was a backwards staring order; meaning Hanson had to wait for the 2nd to last starting position, to begin his trek through the 70km loop around Tantanoola Pines. Matt drove without fear and was 3rd on time after the first lap. Hanson kept steady, and after his tires met race completion, he found himself on the top of the podium with an outright victory… his Jimco did it’s job again.
Congratulations to our friends at Start Me Up Racing, on their brilliant comeback!
2nd spot on the outright podium was awarded to Jimco’s flying kiwis, the Big Black Motorsport racing team with driver Raana Horan. Horan stormed his #89 Jimco Pro-Buggy into the 5th position after prologue. “This thing is a weapon,” the team said of their Jimco, and eagerly looked toward the green flag of the enduro stage. Horan with co-rider Klem Christiansen enthusiastically flew through the course and maintained a 2nd place pace. As the kilometers-to-go wound down to zero, New Zealand off-road race fans erupted in pride on social media, seeing Horan finish 2nd outright.
Rounding out the outright podium was none other than long-time Jimco driver Mark Burrows. He and co-rider Sean Ratcliffe had a 2nd place prologue effort before mother nature had her way with the day. As an experienced driver, Burrows welcomed the rain, and looked forward slinging mud around the long loop. Video of the first few kilometers posted of the enduro stage posted around the internet show Mark Burrows looking like he was just having a blast driving his Jimco. The fun continued all the way to the end, as he slid in to that final podium spot.
Five Jimco race cars occupied the Top-10 outright finishing positions: In addition to the podium sweep, Jack Rhodes in his #91 Pro-buggy ended his day in 5th, and Lindsay Foster in the #178 Prolite Buggy rounded out the Top-10.