Alice Spring’s own David Walsh (#1) is one step closer to claiming back-to-back King of the Desert titles after blitzing the bike field to arrive at Finke (Aputula) in 1 hour 45 minutes and 34.9 seconds on Race Day 1 of the 2021 Tatts Finke Desert Race.

The hometown hero left the Start/Finish line alongside Jack Simpson then spectacularly overtook Simpson on the first corner and never looked back.

In perfect conditions, Walsh recorded a time that was 10 minutes quicker than his 2019 Race Day 1 result.

The 2019 King of the Desert was 4 minutes and 23.7 seconds clear of the next best Jack Simpson (#4), who moved down one spot after starting Race Day 1 from pole position, arriving to Finke (Aputula) with a time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 58.6 seconds.

In his sixth Finke campaign, Beau Ralston (#3) sits 4 minutes and 57 seconds behind Walsh, arriving with a time of 1 hour 50 minutes and 31.9 seconds as he looks to secure a podium position for the second event in a row.

Rick Ireland (#292) finished fourth fastest, setting a time of 1 hour 53 minutes and 31.3 seconds. Ireland in only his second Finke campaign, started Race Day 1 from 11th position, blitzing the 226km track as he eyes his first podium finish at the Tatts Finke Desert Race.

Geelong’s young gun Callum Norton (#5) was one of four Victorians to finish in the top ten, coming in fifth fastest on his Husqvarna ahead of tomorrow’s return leg to Alice Springs.

The ninteen-year-old rising star is only 8 minutes and 10.4 seconds behind the race leader, recording a time of 1 hour 53 minutes and 45.3 seconds.

Fellow Victorians and brothers Brodie Waters (#15) and Nicholas Waters (#10) were sixth and seventh fastest reaching the end of Day 1 with times of 1 hour 54 minutes and 15.6 seconds, and 1 hour 54 minutes and 38.7 seconds respectively.

In eighth place and the second of the South Australians to cross the line was Paringa’s Kyle Pfitzner (#13), with a time of 1 hour 54 minutes and 47.5 seconds, 14 minutes and 35.1 seconds behind the leader.

2019 runner up Jacob Smith (#2) crossed the line in ninth with a time of 1 hour 54 minutes and 49.9 seconds, while Liam Walsh (X99) finished in 10th with a time of 1 hour 55 minutes and 53.3 seconds, in his first attempt of Australia’s toughest off-road race.

Full results for the 584-strong field can be found here

After camping overnight, the bikes will leave Finke (Aputula) tomorrow morning at 11.45am CST for the run back to the Alice Springs finish with the first bikes expected to arrive at approximately 2.05pm CST, where the 2021 King of the Desert will be crowned.

The Tatts Finke Desert Race is held annually in Alice Springs on the Queen’s Birthday June long weekend. 2021 is the 21st year of Tatts’ naming-rights partnership of the iconic Finke Desert Race.