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Pickering parades into off road championship

Geoff Pickering and his Co-Driver Dylan Watson.

The Queensland group dealer is already preparing for a tough season of rounds in the 2012 Australian Off Road Championships, and he was delighted to have his co-driver with him in the honour parade at the Albert Park F1 weekend.

"It was an honour to represent the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and the Australian Off Road Championships at the Formula One festivities, and I was especially pleased that Dylan Watson my young Co-Driver (Glen Watson son) was able to participate in this experience," Pickering said.

The 2012 Off Road Championship will see considerable change this year, and the Pickering team is already preparing their campaign.

"There has been a repositioning of events, with some being dropped and new ones added," Pickering said. "The first Australian Championship event will not be until June at Sea Lake in Northern Victoria. This is a track which I believe has something like a 40-year history of off road racing, and we're looking forward to its introduction into the championship."

The opening round at Sea Lake - the Mallee Rally - on the Queens Birthday long weekend in June 8-10, marks the return of the fixture to the AORC after 10 years being off the calendar.

It will be followed on August 3-5 by the Goondiwindi 400, which has been brought forward on the calendar due to the soaking October weather that has hampered the event in recent years. AORC organisers say the drier winter weather shoul allow the teams to test the full potential of their suspension on the famous Goondiwindi melon holes.

The third round is the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro at Millicent in South Australia - an exciting race set in the stadium style arena at Teagles Quarry and Tantanoola Pine Forests.

The 2012 grand finale is a brand new event - fittingly also on brand new terrain - at Gatton in Queensland's Lockyer Valley. But for Pickering's team, those four main events will not be the only action. "We will do as many Queensland and local events as we can in the interim - although the floods have caused the cancellation of many events."

Pickering said while his petrol-engined Mitsubishi Pajero was being readied for the 2012 season, the team was still working on plans to eventually race with a diesel vehicle.

"We would like to get a diesel engine  to full race spec. It would be great to race a vehicle with a diesel engine, which is now almost 100 per cent of all vehicles sold in the series production class we race in."

Australian Off Road Championship

Rd 1 Sealake - VIC 8-10 June

Rd 2 Goondiwindi – Qld 3-5 August

Rd 3 Millicent - SA 7-9 September

Rd 4 Gatton – Qld 10-11 November