Is this the first documentary to tell the story of trophy truck racing in Australia? The film that is produced by Jetpilot and presented by Toyo Tyres profiles the rapidly growing off road racing scene, from the perspective of one of its most successful drivers, Brad Gallard, as he prepares for the infamous Finke Desert Race.
Off-road racing conjures a breadth of images: images from race reports, helicopter coverage, driver interviews and spec sheets. Howling horsepower, dusty power slides and explosive speeds, with complex suspension systems guiding wheels and tyres that defy terrain to effortlessly fly over obstacles that would halt the toughest 4×4.
Attack The Dirt: The Road to Finke takes fans and newcomers alike deep beneath that surface veneer and into the world of the trophy truck driver. Viewers are brought face-to-face with the confronting reality of what it takes to succeed in off-road racing, and are given a rare insight into the physical and mental demands of tackling the toughest tracks in Australia. Attack The Dirt chronicles the history of the #454 truck and follows Brad and his team through lofty highs and devastating lows as they campaign the 2014 Australian Off Road Championship.
The team is single-minded and driven by its unwavering determination to reclaim the 2014 ‘King of the desert’ throne after a mechanical failure in 2013 thwarted their plans to follow up their 2012 victory at The Finke Desert Race.
Director Allan Hardy explains that the trackside, race-reported image only tells half the story. “The making of this film has given me a new perspective on trophy truck racing,” he said.
“Visually the sport is so striking, and you can’t help but become emotionally invested in the team and engrossed in the detail of the equipment they use. “I have developed so much respect for the drivers and teams that throw so many dollars, and so much time into it and give their all to compete in an extremely tough sport.”
Off-road racing is by its own nature dangerous and unforgiving.
“A roll-over, broken suspension arm or a mechanical failure might seem like problems you can overcome with a good old ‘well that’s racing’, but every hit these trucks take hit the driver, the navigator and the supporting team even harder. These guys bleed off-roading,” Hardy said.
The documentary shows Brad Gallard striving to find the balance between the hammer-down aggression that has won the Toyo Tires liveried #454 truck the loyalty of so many fans, and the tempered strategy required to take out a championship and pluck the jewel of Australian off-roading, The Tattersall’s Finke Desert Race.
“I am honoured to be the subject of a movie that gives a different perspective to trophy truck racing,” Gallard said.
“This is a sport I believe in and I’m determined to help it grow. This documentary is a giant step forward in increasing its profile and telling the story of how we got to where we are,” Gallard said.
Toyo Tires marketing manager Jose Angeles said the tyre-maker is proud to be a significant part of Australian Off-Road Racing. “There is so much to off-road racing: sleepless nights, heartbreak, and blood, sweat and tears. Attack the Dirt takes you as far behind the scenes of trophy trucks as anyone has been allowed to go,” he said.
“It is a look at a sport on the brink of national recognition, and with the action and honesty shown in this film, it isn’t hard to understand why off-road racing is about to explode.
“The world needs to know the story of who these guys are and why they do what they do. Trophy truck racing is motorsport at its most raw; there is a grassroots camaraderie among the teams and every race is a unique experience,” Mr Angeles said.
The documentary airs at 12:30pm on August 30 on 7mate.