Bryce Chapman racing off road at Texas.
Bryce Chapman racing off road at Texas. Randall Kilner

Rookie's victory on the border

YOUTH conquered experience at the inaugural Texas Border 250 held on the Queensland/NSW border at the weekend with rookie driver Bryce Chapman and his experienced navigator Peter Vail winning the demanding long-course event in their NSW-based #58 Runamuck TPE V8 Jimco.

Warialda’s Terry Rose and Shane Egan were another team that made the most of their foray north of the border, locking in second outright in their #11 Jimco ahead of the first Queenslanders, Nev Taylor and Danny Curran, who piloted their #6 Rockstar V8 Jimco to third outright.

The event organised by SEQORRA was the first round of the Queensland Offroad Championship and with 42 starters was one of the biggest state rounds in recent history.

Chapman made the most of the clean air at the front of the field during Sunday’s sections, after winning the two-at-a-time drag race from the start line against Terry Rose.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for the NSW-based Runamuck team when a flat tyre towards the end of the second-last lap forced them into the pits.

This handed Rose first place on the road for the final lap and the opportunity to grab victory.

While the pit stop cost Chapman track position, the express tyre change allowed him to maintain a slim lead on time and when the clocks were stopped he had won the Texas Border 250 by just over a minute.

Held over 12 laps, split into four three-lap sections, the Texas Border 250 was a return to a real driver’s track.

It featured technical tree-lined sections through gullies and around the hills and ridgelines of Ron and Brett Milton’s 375ha property, combined with open flowing paddocks.

Dust added to the challenge, with Texas receiving little of the rain that has forced other races to be cancelled in recent times.

Earlier in the race, Wayne Bannan was looking unstoppable in his single seater Chenowth, winning the prologue and setting the fastest lap of the 20km course before an alternator failure ended his rampage.

Clayton Chapman was another to set a blistering pace during the prologue, securing third place on the starting grid in his Extreme 4WD Pajero, ahead of many high quality proclass buggies.

However minor electrical then mechanical gremlins halted the reigning AORC production 4WD champ’s charge in his first competitive steer in the Extreme 4WD Class.

Goondiwindi’s Joe Bulmer guided his way through the dust to finish fourth outright in his Chevy-powered Jimco, with Brisbane’s John Moore slotting his rotary powered Hi-Jinx into fifth after almost 250 km.

In one of the great battles, Rob Chapman (781) and Evan Burns traded blows for all 12 laps, with a flat tyre on Chapman’s Triton allowing Burns to edge ahead and take the class win in his short-wheel-base Pajero.

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