2017 Finke Desert Race Preview | Latest
This year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race to be held from 9-12 June will be the forty-second (42nd) occasion Australia’s greatest desert race has been held.
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 2-wheel Drive 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.
Of special interest will be the Finke debut of American off-road superstar Harley Letner, a two-time Baja 500 winner and currently un- defeated in the 2017 US Best of the Desert Series.
The battle for bike supremacy in 2017 becomes difficult to predict given the absence of Price this year and the fact the only current rider to disturb his run of victories commencing in 2012 is Todd Smith who took his sole Finke victory in 2013.
Todd Smith and brother Jacob are likely to be in contention for Honda, while Yamaha riders Josh Green and Daymon Stokie, who won the Baja 1000 in 2016, are carrying the flag for Yamaha.
As for KTM, third on the podium last year is Alice Spring’s own David Walsh will be looking to make the giant step up to victory in his ‘home town’ event. With the exception of Todd Smith’s 2013 victory, KTM has dominated the event, being the winning Finke manufacturer every other year since 2009.
2016 Tatts Finke Desert Race Results
1. Toby Price KTM
2. Tye Simmonds KTM
3. David Walsh KTM
1. Glenn Owen/Mathew Ryan (Jimco Buggy)
2. Toby Price/Kyle Pfiitzner (Trophy Truck)
3. Beau Robinson/Stephen Ketteridge-Hall (Trophy Truck)
Saturday June 10 – Prologue cars commence at 8.00am. Bikes commence at
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