In what was described as one of the toughest "GasDash" tracks in years, the two-day event started with a strong performance in the 19km prologue from Shane and Curt Elphinstone in their Hole Shot Pro buggy, leading home Trewhella/Lange and Renton/Renton.
The Elphinstones repeated the performance on Day 1 of racing, extending their margin at every checkpoint to take a 7m30s lead going in to Day 2. Trewhella suffered a suspension arm failure, so was out of the race, while Brad Cooper had similar misfortune with a power steering problem, but was able to continue. This elevated the Rentons into second overall, but they had the job ahead of them to reel in the Elphinstone pairing.
Day 2's racing saw fate deal the Elphinstones a cruel blow as it did at last year's Gascoyne Dash. Clutch problems forced them to surrender the overall lead to the Rentons, but the WA locals didn't have it all their own way.
An alternator failure forced the father and son team to make emergency repairs at one of the checkpoints on the 210km Day 2 route. Soon after, their Jimco Pro Buggy stopped altogether when one of the wires from the replacement alternator came loose, forcing a second unplanned stop. Despite this, the crew were able to continue and Brett's smooth driving saw them finish Day 2 fourth overall - enough to take out the Pro class and 'King of the Dash' Auto overall honours ahead of Cooper/Pitassi and Pickersgill/Finlay.
Third overall on Day 2 were Gascoyne Dash debutantes, Graeme Bentik and Daniel Smith.
Pickersgill's comeback to win the Day 2 honours and claim third overall came after suspension problems in his Chevy extreme 2WD truck dropped them well down the field on Day1, while Cooper battled further steering problems on Day 2, but still managed to take the runner-up spot.
Photos: Sean McTigue - Dirtcomp