100 Days out from the commencement of Finke Festivities and the Finke Desert Race Club is primed for the largest year of the events 44 Year History.
Car Entries to the event opened on Monday morning and filled in a historic 3.5 Hours to capacity (150 Vehicles). For the first time since capacity of vehicles was increased to 150 (from 120 in 2016), a waitlist has now been established.
Although known for being quick off the grid, reigning Finke King of the Desert and Dakar Winner, Toby Price, faltered and left it too late to be in the confirmed 150 spaces, now sitting at 10th place on the waiting list. The Finke Desert Race Club saw a surge of interest for car entries, with 110 entries received within the first 20 minutes of opening.
The line-up of car entrants is one for any off-road motor sport fiend, with every Car Winner from the past 20 years, registered to race Finke ’19. Leading the charge will be the six time winners and reigning Kings of the Desert, Shannon and Ian Rentsch in their twin turbo V6 Jimco. Joining him in the hunt will be Mark Burrows, the first man to beat the bikes in his Honda powered Cougar buggy in 1999 and Greg Gartner, the first driver to take the King of the Desert title in a Trophy Truck back in 2011. David Fellows, Hayden Bentley and Brad Gallard will all continue their quest to add another Finke trophy to the mantelpiece in Extreme 2wd Trophy Trucks.
Back to defend their 2018 Class titles will be recent inductee into the Offroad Hall of Fame, #701 Geoff Pickering, while the giant killer, #2 Toby Whateley will have an elusive top ten finish in his sights alongside the SXS Turbo class win in his CanAm Maverick X3. Joining Whateley in the SXS turbo class in 2019, is last years SXS Sport class winner, Allan Muir in a turbo charged Yamaha YXZ. Sportlite winner, Steven Graham will hit the grid in his Honda powered Tatum. While first and second outright in 2018 and winners of their respective classes, Shannon Rentsch and Dave Fellows will both be aiming to stay on top of the leaderboard in the Pro Class and Extreme 2wd categories. The Performance 2wd, Prolite, Super 1650, SXS Sport and Extreme 4wd Classes will all see a fresh face on the podium when the chequered flag is waved in 2019.
Check out the full car entry and wait list here
The bike race is also continuing to push all limits and expectations of the club. Filling to the capacity of 650 places available on the day of opening in late January, a whopping 91 competitors still sit on the wait list to make the final cut.
The 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race has been recognised with a number of awards over the past few months, including ‘State Event of the Year’ at the CAMS Motor Sport Awards, a highly commended placing at the Brolga Tourism Awards and also taking home the Australia Day Award in Central Australia for ‘Event of the Year’.
Awards aside, event organisers are now fully immersed in the 2019 Event and are preparing for the biggest year on record.
The 2019 Tatts Finke Desert Race will be held in Alice Springs on the Queens Birthday weekend from 6-10 June 2019