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Hectic homecoming for Phillips | Off-Road | Sport

Australia’s four-time World Enduro Champion Matt Phillips propped up the local Sherco Team during this year’s annual Tasmanian 8-Hour event at St Helens

It was his first competition outing on home soil after retiring from international racing.

Joining local riders Derek Grundy and Andy Wilksch, Phillips helped claw back a six-minute lead from the Beta duo of Lincoln Bird and Troy Sheridan, but still finished 10 seconds shy.

“Once we hit the six-hour mark we started gaining back big margins,” Wilksch explained. “With an hour and a quarter to go Matty had clawed it back to be right behind the lead team, then I went out for my last stint.”

But elation suddenly turned to frustration as Wilksch got stuck behind a backmarker on a technical hill.

“I pretty well choked at this point, and just couldn’t get up the hill. This gave the other team a three-minute lead into the last lap where Matty took over and he pulled them back in and went for a pass in the dust and came off.”

Phillips finished his international racing career with a pair of fourth-place finishes during the two-stage German GP held at the end of October. He was fourth overall for the season.

By Kellie Buckley