Walkinshaw launches off-road racing programme

Walkinshaw Automotive Group will field a pair of cars in the Australian Off Road Championship this season.

Walkinshaw launches off-road racing programme
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Best known for its Supercars squad Walkinshaw Andretti United, Walkinshaw Automotive Group will run its AORC programme under the Walkinshaw Performance banner.

Through its engineering partnership with Volkswagen, the squad's lead entry will be a VW W580X Amarok, which will be driven in the Production 4WD class by Supercars veteran and WAU endurance driver Warren Luff.

WP engineer David Kermond will campaign a ZR2 Colorado in the 2WD Performance class.

For Luff, competing in the AORC is a significant departure from his circuit racing background – but a challenge he's excited to tackle.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me and I'm really excited for the year ahead," he said.

"I have always been a big fan of off-road racing, in fact I still remember going for a ride with [Aussie off-road legend] Les Siviour when I was maybe 13 or 14 and was hooked by them.

“This is going to be a big learning year for both the team and myself. Obviously, the Walkinshaw name is synonymous with circuit racing both in Australia and in Europe, but this is a new challenge for all of us but one we are looking forward to.

“For me it’s a whole new style of driving, competition and discipline to be competitive. So, I’m looking forward to learning what it takes to have success off road.

“I am really grateful to everyone at Walkinshaw Automotive that have been the driving force behind this project. On top of their normal workloads they have been doing some crazy hours to get these cars built and ready for the first round at St George.

“I feel very lucky to be representing the Walkinshaw name both on road and off road this year.”

Kermond added: “I am really excited for the year ahead, not just for myself but for the business too as this is something we have been working towards for a while to get across the line.

“Now that we are here, I’m looking forward to racing in St George alongside Warren and for us both getting some good seat time in the car as it’s been a quick build and push for us in the lead up to our first event.

“This programme will hopefully see our customers rewarded with exciting new technology and products in the future as there is lots to explore.

“From a competitive point of view, I am really looking forward to [the] Finke [Desert Race] as a standout, however I am also looking forward to racing at St George and Pooncarie and getting valuable experience.

“Internally, the Walkinshaw Performance wing has been a huge driver in this project, but I must say thanks to the whole Walkinshaw group for the opportunity.

“Growing up with Walkinshaw and HSV products on my bedroom wall as a kid and to now represent the brand is a huge thing for me and I can’t wait for St George.”

The St George 399 will open the 2022 AORC season on March 18-20.


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