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Racers kick up the dirt at 2023 Gascoyne Dash as Jackson Mcgrath is still the king

Jake Santa MariaMidwest Times
Cars, quads and bikes all battled in the dirt
Camera IconCars, quads and bikes all battled in the dirt Credit: Dakar Press Team Australia

Racing fans left the speedway and headed to the Outback as the Gascoyne Off-Road Racing Club hosted the 2023 Gacyone Dash in the last weekend of April.

The Dash was originally river boat race until the Gascoyne River stopped flowing, at which point cars, buggies and bikes took over as the main attraction.

First held in 2003, it is considered one of Australia’s most gruelling desert motorsport races, a test of both competitor and machine, with racers clocking more than 500km across the two race days in the desert.

It also serves as round 2 of the West Australian Off-Road Racing Championship, which combines five premiere off-road events across WA into an overall series.

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This year’s overall winner and ‘King of the River’ was a familiar face as Jackson Mcgrath defended his title from last year and completed the race in 4:20.53.

He was only six seconds in front of runner-up Kaj Radcliffe at the halfway mark but was a master on day two, finishing more than six-and-a-half minutes in the clear.

“It was a lot closer than I expected it to be but the bike has been absolutely unreal, it’s a bit down on power with a 450 but overall I think it was a way better package for me,” he said.

“There were some big bumps out there and it was definitely rougher than last year and it seems to be getting rougher every year. If it keeps going like this, next year will be hell.”

Kirk Williams, along with co-drivers Jay Jankowski and Sam Cramer, took the overall quad title, finishing in 5:03.03, more than five-and-a-half minutes clear of second-placed John Iuliano, with Travy Steward in third.

Troy Higgins, with co-driver John Simmons, took the car category in their Pro Buggy in 4:23.22, more than nine minutes clear of round one winner Adam Trewhella and co-drivers Craig Trewhella and Koby Grant.

The off road championship will now head east to the Wheatbelt town of Bencubbin on June 3 for round 3.

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