THE roar of a race car engine signalled the countdown to the Rainbow Desert Enduro on Saturday, after President of the Victorian Off Road Racing Association Inc (VORRA), Brett Price, delivered his car to Rainbow for interested locals to take a sneak peak before the race officially begins on August 5. Around 25 locals headed to the GrainCorp site on the Bow Hill, west of town, to watch driver Peter Stevenson from Portland take a spin in Brett’s car around the shorter prologue track ahead of the big race.
Peter showed the crowd just what the race car can do, spinning the wheels with ease, entertaining the crowd. They then opened up the car for interested locals to take a spin in the passenger seat, before they called it a day after a part on the car failed. Most of the crew who had travelled to Rainbow for the day all agreed it was better that the part had failed on Saturday, rather than during the race on the weekend of August 4 to 6.
On Friday night, a community meeting took place for all interested parties to listen to what the Enduro race will involve.
The organisers are still looking for people to help out with recovery on both Saturday and Sunday. Around 45 people were present at the meeting.
“Helping out as a recovery vehicle gives you a wonderful opportunity to see the cars in action up close and is different to what the spectators will be able to see,” VORRA President Brett Price said.
“There will of course be a briefing involved on the Friday night, which will cover what you will do, where you will go and the dangers involved with the sport,” Mr Price said.
“Motor racing is dangerous, but we make sure that everyone involved is as safe as can be while helping out on the track,” he said.
“Recovery vehicles will help with pulling cars out of the way on the track if they have broken down, and will collect cars and navigators as well.”
Rumour has it that Hindmarsh Shire Mayor Debra Nelson has put her hand up to help as part of a recovery team with Councillor Ron Lowe.
Anyone interested in being part of a recovery team is urged to contact Brett Price on 0418 313 656.
Teams of three are required and if people don’t have a 4WD, they can jump in with others to help them out.
Friday night, August 4, will see Federal Street and Railway Street closed from 2pm to set up the race cars on the street for scrutineering. Interested members of the public are urged to attend that day to see the cars up close before the big race, which will see the cars covered in dust and potentially mud. This will be the best chance for anyone to see the cars up
close at any time over the weekend.
Local traders will be open through the day and into the night to help keep people hydrated and well fed. The Friday night will also be a good opportunity for locals to meet the drivers as they come in for scrutineering. A good cross-section of types of vehicles have been entered into the race so there will be a wide variety of cars on
“It’s well worth looking at the equipment involved, even if you’re not really a car person, as some of the crews have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment invested in their cars,” Mr Price said.
There have been around 50 entries into the race so far, with each bringing a team of three or four.
Accommodation across the district has been booked out, with the Rainbow Recreation Reserve being opened for campers at small cost.
For when the weather turns cold, fire drums will be set up in Federal Street for Friday nights festivities. The drums will then be moved to the GrainCorp site to keep people warm over the two
As to the race track itself, a lot of the tracks used during the two days of racing are existing fire breaks. The organisers are hoping that the race will be in place for many years, which will help to maintain the fire breaks for years to come. The track has also been heavily checked for native vegetation before a final decision was made on the track to be used.
“Being here is good for us as off-road racers, but I also want it to be good for the town,” Mr Price said.
Entries so far have come from Portland, the Dandenong Ranges, Ballarat, Townsville, Far North Queensland, Western Australia and a driver from New Zealand. Drivers are prepared to travel long distances to take part in these races.
The Bow Hill GrainCorp site will have plenty of room for spectators, with around 300 car parking spaces available. The site will also give spectators a great view of the race.
Entry into the site is just $10 for the two days. The event will be fully catered, with local community groups setting up a variety of stalls.
The race will consist of two laps on Saturday as part of the prologue. Sunday will see the racers go around the 75 kilometre track five times to determine the winner.
As this is a national event, there will be people from all over Australia present to watch this race. Half an hour has been set aside on Foxtel to show the country the race and just what Rainbow has to offer.
This will be the last race of the national championship for 2017.