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  • Snake Racing 12:05 am on 18/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, Alice Spings, , , Emily Attard, , ,   

    Tatts Finke Desert Race – Downunder Racing words by Emily Attard 

    WORDS BY EMILY ATTARD – DOWNUNDER RACING

    There is certain calm the night before you depart for Alice Springs. Something like the calm before a storm. The transporter is on route carrying the precious cargo, the work sheds are bare and the swearing and tool throwing has come to a complete halt. Our preparation for this iconic race had begun early. Taking many long nights, numerous cups of coffee and of course coin from our pockets. For us, our schedule revolves around Finke. This event puts birthdays on hold, football games on record and is considered the annual Attard Family holiday.

    The Downunder Racing crew had all landed, having flown in from NSW and QLD spirits were high, we had worked hard and a successful weekend was the plan. However, I guess Finke had different plans in mind for us…..

    The sun rose over Prologue day as the engines started to warm. The air is crisp and the pits reek of determination/nervousness. You speak to any rider or driver and they are always more intimidated by Prologue than the Finke race itself. I guess because anything can happen and not knowing is the worst thing of all.

    The Lucas Oil Chevy was purring as she waited on the start line. If offroad racing was like Rugby, then Trophy Trucks were like your front row. The Chevy being one of them, they are chosen for their size and strength. They are bigger, stronger, heavier and their job is to move forward with power.

    When the light flashed green it was go time, driver Daniel Attard was standing on it. Leaving any fear or uncertainty in the dust behind him. The Attard brothers were on a mission. The BF Goodrich tyres storming through the dirt our opening to Finke 2013 looked promising. But that’s the thing about Finke…. It can turn your glory into dust just like that. Daniel and Navi Matt Attard had already conquered half the track when they turned into a corner and rolled a swift 2 and a half times. Just like that the heavens closed and a cloud of devastation surrounded them. The once pristine panels were now bruised, broken and the big Chevy lay on its side as the chopper stalked in the skies above. The crew grouped back in the pits with little words on what went wrong. I guess because no words could explain how you feel in those moments when you have no control and whilst disappointment lurked amongst us we still had a truck to fix for racing the next day.

    As we awoke to Race Day 1, the Sunday paper had our Prologue troubles as their front page news. Whilst the rolling motion still lingered, yesterday was history and today not only for us but all teams was a new day. A day to abandon yesterday’s problems and to chase any lost ground.

    However it was at approximately 160km in to the Finke Desert Race that bad luck striked again. The Trophy Truck flipped, already without a bonnet and suffering from yesterday’s incident, to prevent any further trauma to the Lucas Oil Chevy we would surrender there in the middle of that Aussie Outback.

    That’s racing. That’s life, you win some you lose some.

    When you enter the Tatts Finke Desert Race you should never hope to go out there and win, you should only hope to finish and anything that comes after that is a plus.

    Any off-roader will tell you we don’t do it for the money or even the bragging rights. If you did you’re in the wrong sport. We do it for those minutes of freedom behind the wheel. We follow the dirt, we out run the dust and just try to chase the dream.

    As we boarded the flight bound for home we turned our back on the small town of Alice, the cruel red dust and promised ourselves this would be the last time.

    It won’t be.

    I don’t know if it’s the whoops, that blue horizon or roaring down a track that seems to have no ending but there is something that always has you coming back. Maybe it’s for that feeling you get when you’re out in the middle of the desert. When you feel like you’re separated from reality and even if it is only for a few minutes or kilometres…you feel free.

    Checkers or Wreckers.

    [flickr]set:72157634063082522[/flickr]

    ROLLOVER FOOTAGE CLICK HERE



     
  • Snake Racing 7:19 am on 12/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race,   

    Tatts Finke Desert Race 2013 – Great photo moments – Cars and Buggies 

    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!

    [flickr]set:72157634083636872[/flickr]

     
  • Snake Racing 6:12 am on 12/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , , Finke people   

    People of Tatts Finke Desert Race 2013 – Images 

    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!

    Did you make the trek this year? Check out the gallery below.

    [flickr]set:72157634077433525[/flickr]

     
  • Snake Racing 5:14 am on 12/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , , , ,   

    HAYDEN BENTLEY STORMS INTO LEAD ON DAY 1 OF TATTS FINKE DESERT RACE 

    AS SEEN ON FINKE DESERT RACE WEBSITE 9TH JUNE

    Sunday, 09 June 2013 11:29 South Australian driver Hayden Bentley has blitzed the field on Day 1 of the Tatts Finke Desert Race car and buggy division by recording the fastest time on the 226 kilometre run from the Alice Springs start to the halfway race point at Finke.

    Bentley driving the #18 single seater 3500cc Racer Buggy set a stunning pace to record a time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 48 seconds.

    This pace compares to the fastest time into Finke on Day 1 of the 2012 event set by last year’s eventual winners Brad Gallard and Scott Modistach who did the journey in a time of 1 hour 56 minutes and 39 seconds.

    Unfortunately the Toyo Tyres Geiser Brother Trophy Truck of Gallard and Modistach failed to make the start today after suffering engine problems in yesterday’s prologue run.

    Second fastest time into Finke today was recorded by the West Australian crew of Beau Robinson and Ken Skinner in their #413 Geiser Brothers 6000cc Trophy Truck who did the run in 1 hour 51 minutes and 54 seconds.

    The third best time into Finke was 1 hour 52 minutes and 26 seconds recorded by the Victorian son and father team of Shannon and Ian Rentsch in the #33 Jimco Buggy Nissan 3500cc.

    The fastest vehicle in yesterday’s prologue the #92 Jimco Nissan PRO buggy of five time Finke champion Dave Fellows and Mark Bergamin was reported to have broken down approx. 20 kilometres from Finke.

    Other crews to strike trouble today include:

    • #4 Jimco Champion Chev 6000cc buggy of Buddy and Kerry Crowe (NSW) – Broke down at start
    • #8 Jimco Aussie Special Chev 6000cc of Daniel Auricht and Grant Connelly (NT) – broken CV joint past the Bundooma checkpoint
    • #13 Jimco OBR Nissan 3500cc of Travis Robinson and Paul Currie (WA) – ECU failure at the 35km mark
    • #14 Jimco Aussie Special Toyota 3500cc of Andrew Kittle (NT) and Andrew Kerr (SA) – reported livestock incident
    • #20 Rivmasta 2011 Chev 6000cc of Ashley and Graham Mowbray (NSW) –  Did not start
    • #88 Jimco 2000 Chev 6000cc of Chris Coulthard (NT) and Robert Hawker (WA) – Rolled south of Henry Hill
    • #91 Jimco Aussie Special Nissan 3500cc of Jack Rhodes and David Pullino (SA) – Broke down 7km south of Deep Well
    • #523 Ford Ranger Chev LS2 6000cc of Wei Hongjie and Xie Jinlin (China) – Broken steering at the 34 kilometre mark
    • #410 Ford F150 2012 5800cc of Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings (SA) – Engine miss at the 25 km mark

    Should Bentley cross the finish line tomorrow in first position he will be the first single seater buggy driver to take victory since Paul Simpson won in a Jimco Buggy in 1997.

    Bentley won the Tatts Finke Desert race in 2007 in a Jimco Buggy with co-driver Ben Chivell.

    After camping overnight the car and buggy field will leave Finke tomorrow (Monday June 10) at 7.30am (CST) for the run home to Alice Springs with the first cars expected to arrive at approx. 9.15am

     
  • Snake Racing 5:12 am on 12/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , , ,   

    HAYDEN BENTLEY DOMINATES AS PREVIOUS CHAMPIONS FILL TATTS FINKE DESERT RACE PODIUM FOR CARS 

    AS SEEN ON FINKE DESERT RACE WEBSITE 10TH JUNE 2013

    Hayden Bentley in his #18 Racer Buggy Cadilac 3500cc (single seater) 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 rear axle constant velocity joint (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 Jimco Buggy Nissan 3500cc) 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.

    The Robinson/Skinner crew finished the event well down the field.

     
  • Snake Racing 2:34 am on 12/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , , , , , ,   

    Downunder Racing – Lucas Oils Chevy Rollover Footage- Finke 

    What an event for the Downunder Team. The Lucas Oil Chevy driven by Daniel Attard at this year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race had a huge roll in the prologue. The boys repaired the vehicle overnight only to roll again on the way to Finke on day 1.

    You have to say they had a good go of it and put their heart and soul into it but better luck next year.

    DOWNUNDER RACING ROLLOVER FOOTAGE HERE


     
  • Snake Racing 1:29 am on 12/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , Colin Hodge, , , , , , ,   

    Bentley Takes Second Finke Title 

    FIRST PUBLISHED OffRoadRacing.com.au Tuesday 11th June 2013


    “It is really is special to get a second one and show the first one wasn’t luck, and to join some of the greatest offroaders we have ever seen who have won this race more than once is unbelievable” said Hayden.

    The podium was filled with Finke Desert Race royalty, with the second and third place getters also multiple winners.

    Second outright was the son and father team of Shannon and Ian Rentsch, who finished the race in a total time of 3hr 46min 25sec. “The last few years we haven’t had any luck here at all so it is great to have a good finish with no trouble and get some more points towards our AORC assault. You need a lot of luck here and need to play your cards right. The car was good and gave us no trouble at all and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling for the rest of the AORC.”

    Finke veterans Mark Burrows and Colin Hodge greeted the checkered flag in third outright in their #21 MBR Jimco in a time of 3hr 50min 4 sec. Joking that they are on a first name basis with the thousands of Finke whoops, the Victorian pair started the day in fourth position and moved into third early in the race home when the #413 OBR Geiser Truck of Beau Robinson rolled.

    Matt Coleman and Shawn Teagle were fourth outright in the #55 V8 powered Alpha, ahead of the first of the Extreme 2WD’s, the #441 Geiser Truck of Geddes and Ward. The husband and wife team of Geoff and Liz Roe was sixth outright and finished less than a minute behind Geddes to take second in the Extreme 4WD Class. With little separating the two trucks on the return leg the pace was fierce with both drivers reporting a number of exciting moments on the return leg.

    Alice Springs locals, Andrew Mowles and Matthew Ryan were seventh outright and winners of the ProLite Class. Mowles had previously campaigned the Razorback as a single seater, but has switched to running a navigator for 2013 with success. “The first 50-60km was just dust, but it is the same for everyone. I really enjoyed having a navigator; it is more enjoyable and allowed me to concentrate more on the driving” said Andrew.

    The #24 Tatum of Ryan Taylor was eighth outright, ahead of the #47 Jimco of Steven Sanderson and Braeden O’Cass. Shawn and Robert Swaffield rounded out the top ten in their #110 ProLite Alumi Craft.

    Craig Prettlejohn and Richie Hayes took the Super 1650 class honours in the #223 AHI Racing Razorback, clocking into Alice Springs in a total time of 4hr 40min 45 sec overall.

    Scott Gould and Matt Haywood took the Performance 2wd class honours and 26th outright in the #502 V8 Rodeo. It was the team’s first visit to Finke and after a steady run down on Sunday, sliced 4 minutes off their return journey. “The whoops are just relentless and hard on the body” said Scott.

    Geoff Pickering and Dylan Watson notched up yet another Finke Desert Race Production 4WD Class win in their #711 Mitsubishi Pajero. While Kent Battle and Heather Lawson put in a smoking hot leg home to win the Extreme 4WD Class in their V8 Patrol.

    Adrian Jackson and Clayton Harding won the UTV category in their #657 Polaris XP900 in a time of 5hrs 57min 34 second.

    The Finke proved itself to be as tough as the legend, with only 47 of the original 99 entrants completing the entire race distance.

    The Australian Off Road Championship heads to South Australia for round 3, for the Bentleys Cabin Park Flinders 450 on July 27-28. Sandwiched between the foothills of the Flinders Ranges and the Spencer Gulf, just north of Port Pirie at Baroota, the event will provide a striking contrast to the red desert sands at Finke.

     
  • Snake Racing 7:05 am on 11/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , , , , , Lucas oil chevy, Lucas Oils, , , Trophy Truck   

    Downunder Racing- Team Attard- Lucas Oil Chevy – Driver Daniel Attard Navi Matt Attard 

    What an event for the Downunder Team. The Lucas Oil Chevy driven by Daniel Attard at this year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race had a huge roll in the prologue. The boys repaired the vehicle overnight only to roll again on the way to Finke on day 1.

    You have to say they had a good go of it and put their heart and soul into it but better luck next year.

    [flickr]set:72157634063082522[/flickr]

     
  • Snake Racing 4:31 am on 10/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , , ,   

    Day 2 Tatts Finke Desert Race 

    It just wasn’t meant to be. After making it to Finke last night and madly carrying out repairs, the boys from Snake Racing Wayne Murphy and Chris Taylor were ready to tackle the day ahead. The return from Finke to Alice Springs was looking promising until a control arm bolt broke on the Polaris XP 900 in the second stage for the day. That was the end for Snake as the boys retired the vehicle and limped back to Deep Well on the service track with temp repairs using zip ties. The service team went in to pick up a very disappointed Wayne and Chris.

    All issues aside the boys had a blast attending the event and the whole team really enjoyed the long days and nights and the entire atmosphere that this type of event rallies. We are all looking forward to the party tonight and can finally relax after a few hectic weeks of preparation.

    Congratulations must go to Adrian Jackson and Darren Kim from Team Barry Moule for placing 1st and 2nd in the UTV class and Shaun Blowers for placing 3rd.

    In overall  outright a huge congrats goes to Hayden Bentley from SA for holding onto 1st place, Shannon Rentsch from Vic in 2nd and Mark Burrows from Vic in 3rd. All 3 formed part of the PRO class and held back the rest of the field.

    A big thanks to the whole team from Snake Racing for making this event possible.

    Look out for more photos and video from the event on our website soon.

     
  • Snake Racing 1:10 am on 10/06/2013 Permalink
    Tags: 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race, , , , , , , ,   

    Bentley Leads At Finke Halfway Point 

    FIRST PUBLISHED OffRoadRacing.com.au  Sunday 9th June 2013

    South Australian driver Hayden Bentley has blitzed the field on Day 1 of the Tatts Finke Desert Race to post the fastest time on the 226 kilometre run from the Alice Springs start to the halfway race point at Finke. Bentley driving the #18 single seater twin turbo V6 Racer Buggy set a stunning pace to record a time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 48 seconds.

    Bentley started the day in 13th and worked his way through the field one by one taking advantage of small breaks in the dust to close the gaps. “It felt like I had a good pace and kept into it. It is the first clean run we have had with this new car and it ate the track for breakfast. It is a beautiful thing when you get a machine to work at Finke, hammering through the whoops is one of the best feelings you can get” said Hayden Bentley at Finke.

    Second fastest time into Finke today was recorded by the West Australian crew of Beau Robinson and Ken Skinner in their #413 Geiser Brothers 6000cc Trophy Truck who did the run in 1 hour 51 minutes and 54 seconds. Robinson was the first car into Finke, but moved into second on adjusted time.

    Shannon and Ian Rentsch continued their good form from Hyden, bringing the #33 SR Racing Jimco into Finke in third place with a time of 1 hour 52 minutes and 26 seconds.

    Sixty-six of the ninety-nine starters finished today’s section of the race. The fastest vehicle in yesterday’s prologue the #92 Jimco Nissan PRO buggy of five time Finke champion Dave Fellows and Mark Bergamin was reported to have broken down approx 20 kilometres from Finke. While the Toyo Tyres Geiser Brother Trophy Truck of Gallard and Modistach failed to make the start today after suffering engine problems in yesterday’s prologue run.

    The return leg of the race from Finke back to Alice Springs starts tomorrow morning at 7:30am, with the first car expected to greet the checkered flag before 9:30am.

     
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