The growth of the Tatts Finke Desert Race is showing no signs of slowing down, with organisers confirming the 2018 event was the biggest to date.
Expectations are the 2019 event, to be held in Alice Springs on 7-10 June, will be bigger again. The event has been confirmed as round two of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship (AORC).
Finke Desert Race Club President Antony Yoffa revealed that records were broken in terms of both competitors and spectators this year.
“This year we had the largest number of spectators at the start line over fours days we have ever had – over 7000 on Friday night and just over 6000 at the prologue on Saturday which is just unheard of. They are pretty phenomenal numbers,” said Yoffa.
“In terms of competitors, we had 130 cars on the start line plus the biggest number of bikes we’ve ever had.”
Yoffa predicted that the number of cars in 2019 may well hit the magic 150-competitors cap.
“It wouldn’t surprise me, particularly with the incredible growth of the SXS categories – if that continues we’ll have more of those, they’ve been increasing each year,” Yoffa said.
Always looking to improve the event year-on-year, Yoffa said there are a number of things the club is looking at for 2019.
“We want to replicate having a crew and satellite link at the Finke end to send vision back,” he said.
“We got a lot of people that were pleased to see family crossing the finish line from their lounge room at home and getting a feel for the carnival down there.
“Longer term we’d like to have that set up at points down the track but at this stage it’s still too expensive,” Yoffa explained.
“We are also working through feedback from the competitor survey – we asked whether people want the event expanded to be run over four days rather than two. We are yet to make a decision on that.”
The 2019 BFGoodrich CAMS AORC will kick off with the St George 399 on 5-7 April. Moving from its previous date in May, the earlier date provides more time for competitors to repair and prepare their cars before making the trek to Alice Springs.
Further dates for the 2019 BFGoodrich CAMS AORC will be released shortly.