Sunday, 12 June 2011
West Australians Travis Robinson and Paul Currie in the #13 Outer Bounds Racing Nissan powered Jimco have led the field into Finke in a blitzing time of 1:46.37 on an eventful Day 1 of the 2011 Tattersall’s Finke Desert Race.
Robinson’s time was a scorcher compared to last year when Dave Fellows and Mark Bergamin in the Peter Kittle Motor Sports Jimco did the distance in a time of 1:50:07.
This year’s event has not started well for the current Australian Off Road Champions and three times Finke winner David Fellows, breaking a drive shaft only some 15 kilometres from the start today. Fellows are Bergamin carried out repairs trackside with the spare drive shaft they were carry.
The local crew of Dan Auricht and Grant Connelly struck trouble in the #2 Jimco with gearbox failure before the first checkpoint at Deep Well.
Results to hand have 57 competitors completing the 226km track to Finke today out of the 98 nominated entries. The Finke track proving to be fast yet lethal, with an above average attrition rate.
With only three of this mornings top 10 starters actually finishing in the top 10 at the conclusion of todays racing, the door is let wide open for a number of competitors to place on the podium.
Racing will be tight tomorrow with the top 10 clocking times within 14 minutes of Robinson, but with around three minutes separating third place down to tenth place, any small issue tomorrow could potentially put them out of outright contention.
Tomorrow’s racing gets underway at 7:30 am when the top 10 cars will start with the outright gap that they currently hold over their next rival.
Photographer: Van Nixon