The first round of the 2022 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship was held on the Rainbow Rises course west of Rainbow earlier this month with the running of the ARB Big Desert 480

Fifty-four cars were entered in the race, but only twenty-two survived the course and finished the entire six laps over the two days of racing.

The overall winner was Brent Martin and Adre De Simone in car number 120, just under a minute ahead of Danny Brown and George Apted’s car number 42. After finishing four minutes further back, Jason and Charlotte Richards occupied the last place on the podium.
View a gallery of photos from the weekend here
The weekend began on Friday evening with scrutineering of the vehicles taking place in Rainbow’s main street during a street party that allowed the large crowd to view the cars up close and mingle with the competitors. Many shops were open, and a variety of food was available from local businesses and community groups.

Saturday morning saw the running of the Prologue, where each competitor made a timed one lap dash around the short course to determine the starting order for Section One of the ARB Big Desert 480 in the afternoon, which consisted of two laps of the longer course that travels to the edge of the Big Desert west of Rainbow.

The main race started with the first car leaving the starting line at 1 pm, followed at 40-second intervals by the remaining competitors. The gap between starts is usually thirty seconds, but this was extended by ten seconds to give more time for the dust to clear before the next car took off.

Thirty-six cars remained in the race by Saturday evening, with the rest failing to complete the two laps for various reasons, including mechanical failures to engines and turbos, and several competitors finding themselves off the track and in the trees, requiring assistance from the recovery volunteers to get their vehicles back to the pits.

On Sunday, Section Two consisted of two laps of the course, a 45 minute service break, and then another two laps, and by mid-afternoon, twenty-two competitors crossed that finish line after completing the required number of laps.

The next off road action at Rainbow will be the Rainbow Desert Enduro in early September, which is the fifth round of six of the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC).