Hayden Bentley in his twin turbo V6 #18 Racer Buggy has taken victory in the 2013 Tatts Finke Desert race.
The South Australian driver blitzed the field yesterday on the run down from the Alice Springs start to the overnight stop at Finke, but the return journey back today proved to be a nail biting affair.
Bentley, looked like he was going to get a relatively easy and very fast run after the second placed car overnight -the #413 Geiser Brothers Chev 6000cc Trophy Truck of WA crew Beau Robinson and Ken Skinner – rolled about 20 kilometres from Finke.
However, about 60 kilometres from the chequered flag Bentley ‘heard noises’ and backed off.
He crossed the line at an extremely slow pace with the problem being a rapidly deteriorating CV taking 1 hour 52 minutes and 49 seconds compared to his blistering time yesterday of 1 hour 49 minutes and 48 seconds.
Bentley’s total time for the event was 3 hours 42 minutes and 38 seconds and was a sweet victory for his family and crew, making him a two time winner following his previous victory in 2007.
In second place was the son and father Victorian team of Shannon and Ian Rentsch (#33 SR Racing Jimco) who stopped the clocks today with a time of 1 hour 53 minutes and 59 seconds for a total event time of 3 hours 46 minutes and 25 seconds.
The Rentsch team said they had a very good run and were pleased to be back on the podium after not having finished the Finke event for the past four years despite having won in 2005 and 2006.
Adding to the multiple champions on today’s podium was the third placed crew of the #21 MBR Jimco 2012 Nissan 3500cc buggy with Mark Burrows (Vic) and Colin Hodge (NSW) aboard.
Burrows – a five time Tatts Finke Desert Race winner – completed Day 2 in a time of 1 hour 56 minutes and 27 seconds for a total race time of 3 hours 50 minutes and 4 seconds.