New series to launch in Australia

All-new Australian Off Road Series to kick off in April An oft-mooted, multi-round enduro series in Australia will finally come to fruition in 2005, with hostilities set to commence on the weekend of April 23-24. Falling under the...

All-new Australian Off Road Series to kick off in April

An oft-mooted, multi-round enduro series in Australia will finally come to fruition in 2005, with hostilities set to commence on the weekend of April 23-24.

Falling under the auspices and General Competition Rules of Motorcycling Australia, the title will be officially known as the "2005 Australian Off Road Series", with three meetings to be held in NSW, and one apiece in Victoria and Queensland. Each meeting will consist of two rounds -- one each on the Saturday and Sunday.

To be promoted by the Orange (NSW) based Dirt Bike Promotions, there will be three separate championship classes, adopting a similar structure to that of the Enduro World Championship. That is, an Enduro 1 class will cater for two-stroke (2T) machinery up to 175cc and four-strokes (4T) up to 250cc, followed by Enduro 2 (176-250cc 2T and 251-450cc 4T) and Enduro 3 (251cc and over 2T, 451cc and over 4T).

The three separate classes will also be in use for Expert and Clubman competitors, with the non-championship divisions also set to cater for Veteran (35 years plus), Masters (45 years plus) and female competitors.

"It's going to be about the best riders going head-to-head a number of times a year on a national level, which is something Australia has never had," says Phil Sargent from Dirt Bike Promotions, which already has an eight-year association with motocross, supercross and enduro events. "That alone is an exciting prospect, and the interest I've received from the corporate sector, and the riders themselves, has been really positive.

"Australia continues to produce enduro riders of the highest calibre, and to be able to crown a bond-fide national champion at the final round in August will be a great thing."

Hitherto, the 27-year-old Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) -- ostensibly a teams' event -- has been the commonly accepted forum for crowning the nation's finest individual talent, with Yamaha's Glenn Kearney claiming the honours in 2004.

"The A4DE is a brilliant event and remains an integral part of the national calendar, and I'm sure the events will complement each other," says Sargent, himself as former top-level motocrosser. "It's about seeing the best riders in action, and at the end of the day that's a bonus for everyone."

The 2005 Australian Off Road Series will commence at Raymond Terrace (NSW) on April 23-24, and conclude back in NSW at Milldradale on August 13-14. The A4DE will be held in Wyong (NSW) from July 28-31.

<pre> SERIES DATES

Rds 1&2          April 23-24            Raymond Terrace, NSW
Rds 3&4          May 21-22              Aratula, Qld
Rds 5&6          June 18-19             Gilgandra, Qld
Rds 7&8          July 9-10              Wodonga, Vic
Rds 9&10         August 13-14           Milldradale, NSW

-Motorcycling Australia

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