RACE READY: Bowenville’s own Chris Bartlett is hitting the dusty trail again to raise money for the disabled.
RACE READY: Bowenville’s own Chris Bartlett is hitting the dusty trail again to raise money for the disabled. Alasdair Young

Bush-bashing for charity

LOCAL entrants in the 2016 Great Endeavour Rally are just weeks away from putting the pedal to the metal in support of people with a disability.

More than 150 participants have already signed up for the adventure, including Bowenville local Chris Bartlett, who returns to the rally for the first time in four years.

The teams’ starting positions on the grid will be determined by the funds they raise, meaning they have to pull out all the stops for sponsorship.

So far Chris’s team is well on the way to raising $7500, though further donations will give him an even better chance of representing Dalby in the top 10, or even winning the race outright.

This year Chris will be one tool short of a toolbox, so to speak, as he is joined by just the one partner for the rally, Lindsay Sloss.

Together they will drive in his distinctive HX 1977 Kingswood, emblazoned with the name “Three Tools”.

The clock is ticking on the rally, which starts on June 4, but there is still time to donate to Mr Bartlett’s drive.

The rally has been running for almost 30 years.

The 18-day adventure starts in Ipswich, winding its way to Uluru via a series of tough dirt tracks and off-road courses, the Finke Desert Race track.

The finish line at Uluru will signal the start of the Super Endeavour Rally, which sees participants head south to Lake Eyre, before returning to Queensland via the Birdsville Track.

Many of the vehicles in the rally are modified for the event, and Mr Bartlett’s is no exception.

His Kingswood isn’t pretty, with a rough coat of paint and a home-made steel bullbar fixed to the heavy steel chassis.

It is, however, practical, with its stiff-bar built in to allow other vehicles to tow it, plenty of room for a swag at the back, a back-up motor and supplies.

Mr Bartlett said nothing was going to hold him back the way he was in 2012, when he and his mates hit a snag.

“We had a bit of bad luck, blew a piston and wrecked the motor. This new motor (a 202 straight six) was completely built by a mate of mine from Bowenville, and it’s great,” he said.

“These old Holdens were made for the bush.”



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