An action packed first morning has thrown up plenty of mixed results as crews wrap up the first day of racing at the Tatts Finke Desert Race.
Toby Price was first to Finke and was on fire all day. He now holds a handy 7 minute 44 second buffer over Jack Rhodes, with Beau Robinson rounding out the top three.
One of the biggest stories of the morning was the dramas facing reigning BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Champion and 2018 Finke winner, Shannon Rentsch.
Rentsch was second fastest through all checkpoints, but failed to arrive at the Finke start/finish line for some time – it’s believed the nine-time Finke winner suffered a puncture, and while he was able to finish the morning, he now sits a daunting 17 minutes off Price’s pace.
Meanwhile, Rhodes put forward what was arguably the performance of the morning. After a rollover in Prologue on Saturday, Rhodes was forced to start 14th from Alice Springs, meaning the Pro Buggy driver was facing plenty of dust and traffic on the road to Finke.
The 2016 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Champion powered through the 226km road to Finke and will be one to watch on Monday morning.
Josh Howells put in a consistent performance after being third fastest in the Prologue. Howells finished the day in fourth, 10 minutes and 36 seconds behind Price.
Crews will return to Alice Springs on Monday morning, the winner to be crowned the King or Queen of the Desert – to stand on the top step following one of the toughest off road races in world.
Day One Top 10
1. Toby Price/Jason Duncan
2. Jack Rhodes/David Pullino (+7:44.4)
3. Beau Robinson/Shane Hutt (+8:09.9)
4. Josh Howells/Eric Hume (+10:36.9)
5. Ryan Taylor/Nev Taylor/Adam McGuire (+12:56.1)
6. Brent Martin/ Andre De Simone (+13:17.7)
7. Talbot Cox/Craig King (+13:59.4)
8. Mark Burrows/Matthew Burrows (+14:08.2)
9. Dale Martin/Adrian Rowe (+14:40.1)
10. Shannon Rentsch/Ian Rentsch (+17:24.7)