The son and father team of Shannon and Ian Rentsch from Victoria have taken victory in the 2014 Tatts Finke Desert Race.
Driving their #1 JIMCO 2010 Nissan 3500cc the duo, who now have three Tatts Finke Desert Race titles to their credit, made the home trip from Finke to the Alice Springs finish today in a time of 1 hour 47 minutes and 56 seconds for a total event time of 3 hours 37 minutes and 2 seconds.
Speaking after the race Shannon Rentsch said they had a troubled build-up to the race with buggy trouble not being resolved until the afternoon before Prologue.
“But from the start line yesterday everything went well. This is the 12th time we have done Finke. This is the biggest race on our calendar and it’s the race everyone wants to win. We have been in a winning position before and haven’t made it so victory is an awesome feeling”.
“(On the way back today) we were a bit concerned about running out of fuel, and a few years ago we broke an axle within sight of the finish line so we don’t take it for granted before we cross that (finishing) line”, he added.
The Rentsch combination victories in previous Tatts Finke Desert Race event occurred in 2005 and 2006.
Second position today went to the South Australian crew of Jack Rhodes and David Pullino in the #91 JIMCO 2013 Aussie Special 3500cc finishing 5 minutes and 27 seconds behind the victors.
Rhodes/Pullino made the return trip in a time of 1 hour 52 minutes and 32 seconds with an overall event time of 3 hours 42 minutes and 29 seconds.
It was the team’s first Finke podium, but there is tradition in the team with Jack Rhodes father (Greg) placing 2nd on a bike in 1981.
Notwithstanding a desire to approach the event more cautiously, Rhodes did have a spectacular 360 degree spin within sight of the finish line.
In third position were West Australians Travis Robinson and Paul Currie in the #13 JIMCO OBR Nissan 3500cc machine with a day 2 time of 1 hour 51 minutes and a total event time of 3 hours 43 minutes and 38 seconds. Their gap to the second place-getters was 1 minute and 9 seconds.
Robinson said he had ‘driven conservatively’, but had had engine troubles at the 100 kilometre mark yesterday.
“The boys stayed up all night and put the spare motor in’, he added.
Full report to follow later tonight with the Class wrap!