BENTLEY LEADS AT FINKE HALFWAY POINT
South Australian driver Hayden Bentley has blitzed the field on Day 1 of the Tatts Finke Desert Race to post the fastest time on the 226 kilometre run from the Alice Springs start to the halfway race point at Finke. Bentley driving the #18 single seater twin turbo V6 Racer Buggy set a stunning pace to record a time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 48 seconds.
Bentley started the day in 13th and worked his way through the field one by one taking advantage of small breaks in the dust to close the gaps. “It felt like I had a good pace and kept into it. It is the first clean run we have had with this new car and it ate the track for breakfast. It is a beautiful thing when you get a machine to work at Finke, hammering through the whoops is one of the best feelings you can get.” Said Hayden Bentley at Finke.
Second fastest time into Finke today was recorded by the West Australian crew of Beau Robinson and Ken Skinner in their #413 Geiser Brothers 6000cc Trophy Truck who did the run in 1 hour 51 minutes and 54 seconds. Robinson was the first car into Finke, but moved into second on adjusted time.
Shannon and Ian Rentsch continued their good form from Hyden, bringing the #33 SR Racing Jimco into Finke in third place with a time of 1 hour 52 minutes and 26 seconds.
Sixty-six of the ninety-nine starters finished todays section of the race. The fastest vehicle in yesterday’s prologue the #92 Jimco Nissan PRO buggy of five time Finke champion Dave Fellows and Mark Bergamin was reported to have broken down approx. 20 kilometres from Finke. While the Toyo Tyres Geiser Brother Trophy Truck of Gallard and Modistach failed to make the start today after suffering engine problems in yesterday’s prologue run.
The return leg of the race from Finke back to Alice Springs starts tomorrow morning at 7:30am, with the first car expected to greet the chequered flag before 9:30am.