2017 Finke Desert Race: Preview

12 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Adam Riemann, Andy Wigan

With neither the Outright winner nor runner-up from last year’s Finke Desert Race (KTM’s Toby Price and Tye Simmonds) lining up for the 2017 race, it sure raises a lot of questions about this weekend’s great race…
Can KTM still win its fourth Finke on the trot, and eighth in the past nine years? Can Daymon Stokie or David Walsh become the first Alice Spring local to win the coveted “King of the Desert” crown since Ryan Branford way back in 2006? Can former Finke podium placegetter, Josh Green, step up and hand Yamaha their first Outright Finke victory since Stephen Gall way, way back in 1986? And can Toby Price – ‘only’ racing this year’s Finke on four wheels due to ongoing knee ligament damage – take his #487 Geiser Trophy Truck Chev 6000cc machine to his first Auto-class win?
Well, let’s throw it over to the organisers of the 2017 Tatts Finke Desert Race for their preview on who keep an eye on this weekend in the Northern Territory…

This year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race to be held from 9-12 June will be the 42nd occasion Australia’s greatest desert race has been held. Significantly, it is also the 30th time that cars have competed in the event that has its origins as a bike-only affair known as the “There and Back” race dating way back to 1976.
While 2016 Dakar winner and five time Tatts Finke Desert bike race winner Toby Price won’t be tackling the gruelling event on his KTM this year as a result of not having fully recovered from injuries sustained in this year’s Dakar, he has entered in the Extreme 2WD class in the #487 Geiser Trophy Truck Chev 6000cc machine. The four-wheel ability of Price is unquestioned having run second last year in his maiden car attempt on the gruelling 452 kilometre journey from Alice Springs to Finke and back.
Last year’s car winner combination Glenn Owen and Mathew Ryan (Jimco Buggy) return to defend their title along with a star-studded field including previous Finke winners Hayden Bentley, Greg Gartner, Brad Gallard, Shannon Rentsch and David Fellows.


Saturday, June 10:

  • Prologue cars commence at 8.00am.
  • Bikes commence at 12.30pm. 

Sunday, June 11:

  • Cars depart Alice Springs at 7.15am.
  • Bikes depart Alice Springs at 11.30am. 

Monday, June 12:

  • Cars depart Finke at 7.15am.
  • Bikes depart Finke at 11.45am.

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