Gascoyne Dash outback racing event back from COVID bigger than ever before

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
The Gascoyne Dash features a tough 500km course between Carnarvon and the Gascoyne Junction.
Camera IconThe Gascoyne Dash features a tough 500km course between Carnarvon and the Gascoyne Junction. Credit: Supplied

A record number of Mid West daredevils have signed up for a popular Carnarvon racing event.

Riders and drivers of more than 110 bikes and about 35 cars have entered the Coral Coast Helicopters Kickstarter Gascoyne Dash, in which competitors will complete a 500km course between Carnarvon and Gascoyne Junction.

The event started as a dinghy race in Carnarvon in 2000, with organisers transforming the dash into a “dry race” after the river dried up the following year.

It was cancelled last year because of COVID-19, and Gascoyne Off Road Racing Club acting president Michael Gibbings said people had not wasted any time to secure their spot in next month’s race. “Obviously people are excited, because the bike spaces sold out in a day, which is unheard of,” he said.

More than 100 bikes have entered the 2021 Gascoyne Dash.
Camera IconMore than 100 bikes have entered the 2021 Gascoyne Dash. Credit: Supplied

“The reigning bike winner, Cody Upton, is returning this year, while the Kalgoorlie Desert Race winner, Blair Outram, has also been nominated.

“In the cars, Shane Elphinstone is the reigning champion and will face close competition from other pro buggies and truck.”

It will take competitors two days to finish the race, with Gibbings saying vehicles and drivers not in peak condition would struggle to complete the course.

“The track is quite rough in spots,” he said. “You have to be reasonably fit and your bike or car have to be in fairly good nick because all the little faults will show up pretty quick.”

About 2500 tourists typically travel to attend the event.

Carnarvon Visitor Centre tourism manager Stephanie Leca said the Carnarvon and Gascoyne tourism industry continued to grow despite the pandemic.

The race runs from April 1-4.

“With the success of the Gascoyne dash entries, our town is set to have another big year as it reaffirms its position as the event destination of the North West,” she said.

The event will run from April 1 to 4.

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