Agrela wins his 2nd Rod Hatter Memorial

The Gturbo, Rod Hatter Memorial Perenjori 360 has been run and won for another year with specatcular racing action and excellent hospitality from the town of Perenjori a feature yet again. Off track, the Perenjori pool was a big hit as temperatures soared towards 40 degress across the weekend and the excellent catering from the community groups and the Perenjori Sporting club ensured that this family friendly event retains its status as one of the best on the calendar


On track, the action was red hot! Prologue saw 39 crews blast off for a chance to secure a dust free run, but it was Darren Agrela in the Undecided Racing Jimco who clocked in with the quickest time. #406 Colin Doney and #68 Justin Steadman rounded out the podium, but the big talking point was that 3 time WAORC champion Jared Percival was a DNF with mechanical gremlins threatening to derail his title defence at the first hurdle. Mark Murray in his Diesel powered Patrol put in a sterling performance securing 7th outright and a time identical to that of Phil Shepley in the #411 truck.


Section 1 saw the crews tackle 2 laps of the course totaling 120kms of racing and again it was Agrela who streaked away from the field. Doney chased valiantly to hold onto 2nd with Justin Steadman taking 3rd. Brad Cooper had an alternator failure which stopped his BAT Pro Buggy whilst cooling issues saw Mal Yeardley park his #171 machine. The #32 Jungle Racing Porter of David Hickey was also out of the race with gear selection issues whilst running in a strong 5th outright. The drive of the day award would have to go to Mat Birnie and Rochelle Funneman as the slotted their CanAm X3 into 5th outright however a heavy impact across the finish line meant that the crew had their work cut out for them to be ready to race again on Sunday. Mark Murray lead the Extreme 4wd class with Tim Murray the best of the Production 4wds. Peter Barret held the Sportslite lead as trouble struck his rivals whilst Karl Richardson lead Performance 2wd ahead of Mat Beck whose Kingswood had begun to use a lot of oil and was another that may have been in doubt to run on Sunday


Warmer conditions on Sunday meant the the 2 x 120km sections would be a tough ask for the crews and right off the bat there was drama! Colin Doney was pushing to close the gap to Darren Agrela when he suffered a flat tyre and as the #406 beetle does not carry a spare they were out of the section. Justin Steadman inherited 2nd place, but that did not last long as he broke an axle which elevated Phil Shepley in his Extreme 2wd truck into 2nd Place. Mark Harris charged hard to move up into 3rd outright whilst Garry Povah and Mark Murray went to to toe for Extreme 4wd honours. Rob Alford suffered a gentle roll in his Polaris Turbo S but righted the #661 machine and continued on to finish the section. Graeme Bentink had a flawless run in the GTurbo Landcruiser to move into 1st in Production 4wd as Karl Richardson and Peter Barrett continued to lead their classes respectively


The final 2 laps were a nervy affair as 2nd placed competitor Phil Shepley suffered a puncture dropping him back to 6th on road and facing a massive battle to hold onto 2nd outright. Out in front Darren Agrela was in command and cruised home for his 2nd victory in the Rod Hatter Memorial, having won the event in 2013 when it was held at Yealering. Such was the sheer pace from the #39 Jimco he would take the race with a 14 minute margin over Shepley who wound up the wick on the last lap to hold onto 2nd place. Mark Harris showed strong form as he took 1st in SXS Turbo and 3rd outright in just his 2nd WAORC race. Of the original 39 starters, just 19 managed to complete all 6 laps as the 2019 CAMS, Westside Insurance & Carnarvon Motel WAORC  got off to a spectacular start


Full results are available here

Pro Buggy – #39 Darren Agrela & Ryan Barton
Prolite – No official finishers
Super 1650 – No official finishers
Sportslite – #1032 Peter Barrett
Extreme 2wd – #411 Phil Shepley
Performance 2wd – Karl Richardson
SXS Turbo – #611 Mark Harris
Production 4wd – #790 Graeme Bentink
Extreme 4wd – #850 Garry Povah