2018 Gascoyne Dash Recap
The curtains were raised on the new look 2018 Coral Coast Helicopter Services Gascoyne Dash held in Carnarvon, Western Australia, over Easter. The event boasted an exciting new point to point off-road race format, which bolstered the entries to 28 cars and 61 motorcycles. Stretching 202km east from the coastal town of Carnarvon to the iconic Gascoyne Junction, the teams rolled out the swags overnight and soaked up the local hospitality, before turning about face and blasting back to the coast on Sunday.
On the track Carnarvon local, Cody Upton, was a man on a mission from the outset, holding the throttle wide open on his #2 Honda all weekend. Upton stamped his authority on the Moto division on Good Friday, winning the prologue by a huge 50-second margin on the 20km track run out of the Carnarvon Speedway. The trend continued on Saturday’s first section, with Upton building a 7 min 23-second lead. With the “King of the River” title firmly in his sights, Cody Upton picked up where he left off on Sunday morning. In an inspired performance, Upton shaved 1 min 20-seconds off his Day 1 leg time to seal the outright moto and E2 Class win at the 2018 Coral Coast Helicopter Services Gascoyne Dash in an overall time of 4 hr 09 min 45 sec.
Upton also came out on top in the friendly rivalry between the bikes and the cars for the “King of the River” title. Coming out on top of the Jimco buggy of Shane and Curt Elphinestone by 7 minutes. Upton dedicated the win to his mate and two-time GasDash winner, the late Daymon Stokie, in an emotional speech at last the presentation dinner.
Behind Upton, Andy Brack and Stephen Mitchell fought out their own battle for the minor Outright placings. Gaining the upper hand on the race from Carnarvon to the Junction on Saturday, Brack started second on the road for Sunday’s race back to the coast. Brack pushed his Husqvarna hard to open up his lead over Mitchell and greeted the chequered flag in 4 hr 24 min 06 sec to take second Outright, 5 minutes ahead of Mitchell who would claim third Outright for the second year running for Yamaha. Both riders’ efforts were rewarded with their respective class wins, Brack taking the E3 honours ahead of Glen Taylor and Lachlan Roberts, while Mitchell conquered the Masters Class with Rob Pollard in second and Steve Cooney in third.
Through the remaining Moto classes, Jai Cosgriff walked away with the E1 win. While Stewart Winsor set up the Veterans Class win with a 15-minute gap to his nearest rival on Day 1, allowing him to cruise back to the coast on Day 2. Dennis Earle came close to matching Winsor’s pace on the run home, but had to settle for second in class ahead of Brendan Moyce.