The Tatts Finke Desert Race is an off road, multi terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community. The race is held each year on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. “Finke” as it is commonly known, is one of the biggest annual sporting events in the Northern Territory and has the reputation of being one of the most difficult offroad courses in one of the most remote places in the world. Finke is unique and the most fun you can have with a helmet on!
The 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race, which again features a star-studded competitor line-up at the 43rd running of the event.2016 Dakar winner and five-time Tatts Finke Desert Race winner, Toby Price, will return to Finke again this year, out to achieve a double finish in this year’s event.
Price first attempted both car and bike races at Finke in 2016 and came agonisingly close to claiming the double, winning on his bike but finishing runner-up in the cars.
This year, fans will be able to watch competitors’ progress live as they finish Race Day 1 and start Race Day 2 from the Finke Checkpoint for the first time in the history of the event. The new addition will see live vision from Finke viewed on big screens at the Start/Finish line in Alice Springs, as well as streamed live online for all to see. There has been a considerable investment in trialling this for the 2018 event, with organisers hoping this will add another element to the production and broadcast of the event to the world.
Several determined competitors from WA made the trek to Finke to get some early training in last week, some doing up to 2000kms in training-before the event even started! MWA would like to wish all the competitors from WA the best of luck for this weekends event and we are looking forward to watching the live vision this year, having access to timely results and social media updates. *links at the end of this article
Sidelined from competing on his bike last year due to injury, Price makes a celebrated return to Finke in 2018 to attempt “The Double” for a second-time and become the first to be crowned King of the Desert on both two wheels and four.
Access to the Start/Finish line in Alice Springs has also been remodelled ahead of this year’s event, with separate entry and exit points for vehicles and more spacious pit areas for both bikes and cars, expected to enhance fans’ event experience.
2018 will also see the introduction of the Kay Wharton Fastest Female Category into the bike race at the event, honouring the former Race Doctor and five-time Finke bike race finisher.
Introduced to acknowledge Wharton and the enormous contribution of women to the Finke Desert Race, the Fastest Female Category will award the top three female finishers across all bike classes this year.
The Fastest Female Category will be awarded at the official presentation night following the final day of Race Weekend at the Alice Springs Convention Centre.
MWAW and MWA would like to wish Kathryn Scoble, Alisha Nash and Telisha Outram a great ride and best of luck in this category. Racing to Finke then staying the night and return to Alice Springs the next day-what an experience!. This is Alisha's first time taking on one of Australia's hardest offroad races, ticking it off her bucket list where as Kathryn has taken on the challenge a few times before. For Telisha it is a family event with her dad and brother competing as well. The girls are supported as always by their family and have been putting in some 350km pre rides this week to help them get prepared. Go get em girls!!
Out to defend the four-wheel title from Price is last year’s winning father-son duo Shannon and Ian Rentsch from Victoria, flying the flag again for Jimco Aussie Special in their Nissan 3500cc.
Shannon Rentsch is out to achieve a record of his own and eclipse Australian off road legend Mark Burrows’ record five wins, after equalling this achievement last year.
Supercars rising star Todd Hazelwood will also be at the event to support father Russell as he competes in his first motorcycle outing since 1995, the year Todd was born.
Hazelwood senior will race in the Over 45’s class alongside 107 others chasing victory at Australia’s Ultimate Desert Race.
The Official Presentation Night – proudly presented by Platinum Sponsor, UBET –
will also showcase the highly-anticipated race highlights package and present all
competitors who complete the gruelling event, with their prized ‘Survivor Spike’,
which will be streamed live online.
The Tatts Finke Desert Race will take place 8-11 June 2018.
To View a list of competitors HERE
To View By Class HERE