Attending his first race as a spectator, the organisers invited fans to lap the off-road circuit the day ahead of the competition. So Les and his mate climbed into his wife’s car and set off for an exhibition lap.
The only problem? Despite having never seen the off-road course before, and the fact that he was driving a standard Patrol with no racing modifications, the lead-footed farmer was clocking times that would have put him alongside the pro drivers on race day.
“I started racing around 1982,” Les says. “I went to a race with my mate, and you’re allowed to do a lap of the track on the first day just to have a look.
“So I did it in (my wife) Jan’s shopping car, which was a short wheelbase Nissan Patrol, and we did it just as quick as the race cars did.
“Everyone said ‘you should race this thing’. So the next day we put some numbers on it, ripped the backseat out, and we went out and won our class.”