Best known for its Walkinshaw Andretti United Supercars team, Walkinshaw Automotive Group will run its AORC program under the Walkinshaw Performance banner.
Through its engineering partnership with Volkswagen, the team’s mainline will be a VW W580X Amarok, which will be raced in the Production 4WD class by Supercar veteran and WAU endurance driver Warren Luff.
WP engineer David Kermond will campaign with a ZR2 Colorado in the 2WD Performance category.
For Luff, competing in the AORC is a significant departure from his circuit racing experience – but a challenge he is excited to take on.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me and I’m really excited for the year ahead,” he said.
“I’ve always been a big fan of off-road racing, in fact I still remember going for a ride with [Aussie off-road legend] The Siviours when I was maybe 13 or 14 and addicted to them.
“It’s going to be a great learning year for the team and myself. Obviously the Walkinshaw name is synonymous with circuit racing in Australia and Europe, but it’s a new challenge for all of us, but which we look forward to.
“For me, it’s a whole new style of riding, competition and discipline to be competitive. So, I’m looking forward to learning what it takes to be successful off-road.
“I am truly grateful to everyone at Walkinshaw Automotive who has been the driving force behind this project. Along with their normal workload, they have put in crazy hours building these cars and getting them ready for the first lap at St George. .
“I feel very lucky to represent the Walkinshaw name on and off road this year.”
Kermond added: “I’m really excited for the year ahead, not just for me but also for the company, because it’s something we’ve been working on for some time to cross the line.
“Now that we’re here I can’t wait to race in St George alongside Warren and that we both have a good seat time in the car as it’s been a quick build and pushed us with a view to our first event.
“We hope this program will see our customers rewarded with exciting new technologies and products in the future, as there is much to explore.
“From a competitive point of view, I’m really looking forward to [the] fink [Desert Race] as a star, however, i am also looking forward to racing in St George and Pooncarie and gaining valuable experience.
“Internally, the Walkinshaw Performance wing has been a big driver in this project, but I have to say thank you to the whole Walkinshaw group for this opportunity.
“Growing up with Walkinshaw and HSV products on my bedroom wall as a kid and now representing the brand is a huge thing for me and I can’t wait to be in St George.”
The St George 399 will open the 2022 AORC season from March 18-20.