Chapman’s finest hour

Chapman’s finest hour

By TC Media
Pics courtesy of Alan McIntosh Photography

Clayton Chapman and Adam McGuire #15 have claimed an emotional outright victory on a dramatic final day of the 2023 ARB Gundy 500; a national round triumph years in the making. 

After the retirement of race leader Danny Brown #42 on lap one Sunday, and overnight engine issues to Greg Gartner #410, the Sunshine Coast based Chapman took control in the team’s Toyota powered Razorback.

As Chapman headed out for the final lap with a margin over his nearest rivals, an unfortunate grass fire within close proximity of the track led to the eventual cancellation of the event. The decision forced organises to reduce Sunday’s section to two laps, handing Chapman a 2.20min triumph, one that will forever be remembered in Gundy folklore.

North Queenslander Michael Marson and Mick Collins #32 entertained the Goondiwindi locals with another brilliant display in his Ultimate Racer crossing in second outright, a superb performance on the back of finishing third at his favourite event in 2022.



Dale Martin and Adrian Rowe #1125 lifted the Martin Motorsports Class 11 Alpha into third outright position on Sunday after two impressive laps, crossing 55 seconds adrift of Marson to round out the ARB Gundy 500 podium.



Fellow North Queensland Racer campaigners Talbot Cox and Craig King #16 locked down fourth outright courtesy of setting the fastest lap of the event on Sunday, whilst Craig Krog and Dean Searle #23 recorded their highest ARB championship finish in fifth, just 24 seconds adrift of Cox.




Young gun Matt Burrows and Kelsey Hartnett #123 continued their strong of form to take home the Class 1 title and sixth outright in their MBR Jimco, completing the four laps at Gundy a mere 44 seconds quicker then father Mark and brother Tom Burrows #21 in seventh.

Class 6 and Junior champions Kye Camilleri and Cooper McNeilly #666 were at their flawless best in the teams Can Am X3 to finish in eighth outright, outlasting Club President Jamie Knight and Lachlan Brosnan #439 who were rewarded with Class 4 honours, and Class 6 runner up James Mogford #6195 alongside navigators Perry Hunn and Micheal Mogford who rounded out the ARB Gundy 500 top ten.





Rhett Standen and Josh Lyell #225 made it consecutive Class 2 victories at championship level, Matt Gardiner and John Butler #589 claimed the Class 5 silverware, likewise fellow Queenslanders Hank Parker and Matt Halpin #798 who survived Heath Weedon and Michael Baxter #779 for Class 7 glory.



In other class results from the ARB Gundy 500, Stuart and Jim Zlotkowski #811 piloted their beloved Brumby to Class 8 success, ahead of Luke Peterson and Sean Beggs #878 who crossed in second, with Owen Ward and Curtis Laidlaw #832 rounding out the class podium. Darren Orr and Brett Baker #1015 held strong for the Class 10 win in their Lothringer, whilst David and Alex Mendham #1070, and Rob Stieber alongside Jason Bennett #1082 settled for second and third respectively.

Darren and Lara Brandon #689s did their Queensland championship hopes no harm with a dominant Class 6s victory, with Kane and Maddie Prechelt #694s, Luke and Robyn Brandon #690s outlasting the rest for class silverware. Whilst, Ross Newman and Frankie Fong #6681 claimed maximum points over Matt Lavis and Andrew Dance #6684 in Class 66.

North Queensland NextGen star Trent Callander and Wes Roberts #127 drove their Southern Cross to second place in Class 1, finishing 40 seconds clear of ARB Australian championship contenders David and Alice Middlemiss #117. Mark Robertson and Paul McCulloch #481 held onto second spot in Class 4, with Jamie and Jake Henderson #447 home in third.

Justin Rider and Steven Teese #627 secured the final spot on the Class 6 podium, with the closing Class 11 trophies awarded to Ryan Jones and Carl List #1111, who survived championship leaders Darren Frankling and Rob Hackney #1110 for second.

In the Ladies Class for the Queensland championship, Kate Swinglehurst #631 piloted her Can Am to the Gundy title for three consecutive event victories, surviving Anna Phillis #624, and Leila Chapman #616s for the win.



After watching a number of notables fall away on Saturday including Stuart Chapman #17, Damien Nicol #430, Christian Rich #619, Heath Weedon #779, Michael Zacka #1151, Andy Brown #42, Brayden Mifsud #1026, Zac Marsh #614, Drew Callander #99, Steven Orr #1051 and Michael Napier #11, Sunday’s attrition rate was just as high.

Overnight leader Danny Brown #42 – engine, Greg Gartner #410 – DNS engine, Ryan Taylor #24 – engine, Tom Swinglehurst #48 – engine, Bryce Chapman #58 – engine, Brett Comiskey #1136 – DNS, Symon Knight #1175 – trans cooler, Steven Graham – #1065 -DNS, Rohan Williams #29, Luke Brandon #690S, Ian Baker #146 – engine, and Christian Trusz #816 – hub, all bowing out during Sunday’s two lap section.

The 2023 Gundy 500 would not have been possible without the championship partners ARB 4X4 Accessories, Mickey Thompson Tyres, AORRA and Raceline Wheels, major event sponsor Goondiwindi Regional Council and the Top Ten Shootout sponsor Goondiwindi Tyre Service, along with all the other amazing sponsors either small, large or inkind who assisted in so many ways.

The 2023 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship will now turn its attention to the fourth and final round, the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro 400 at Millicent, held over the 22-24th of September, whilst the ARB Mickey Thompson Queensland Championship heads to Bowen, for the 2023 Don River Dash early next month.

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