Shane Elphinstone will head into next month’s Tatts Desert Finke Race with the hopes of making major improvements since his last visit to Alice Springs.
In what will be his third attempt this year, Elphinstone has picked up very two similar results in his last attempts, claiming a 26th and 27th in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
However since his last Finke, Elphinstone has replaced his vehicle for a much stronger one and has been claiming a number of solid results in the CAMS West Australian Off Road Championship.
A victory in the Inland Mechanical & Westside Insurance Three Springs 360 and a runner-up in the 2018 Kalgoorlie Desert Race in the new car has given Shane confidence ahead of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship’s second round.
“We are excited to get out to Finke and have some fun because we only do it every two years,” Elphinstone said.
“I usually try and aim for the top 10, which would be really good if we could. We don’t do bad at state level over here in Western Australian and we have had a fair share of podiums, but it’s a bigger deal to race at Finke.
“It was good to get second place in Kalgoorlie because that track itself has similarities to Finke but it’s not as fast. It’s just a different track and I like it when it gets rough.
“We have had some extra sessions around at a mate’s property. I couldn’t prep it any better than Ihave, so realistically rest of it will be up to me.”
While Elphinstone is considered one of the top drivers in Western Australia, on the national level he will require a bit more effort to go from just finishing the event to finishing well, a level that other drivers strive to reach.
And with a top 10 finish in Finke his main goal for 2019, Elphinstone is well aware of what he needs to do to get there.
“I probably just have to drive like a lunatic,” Elphinstone joked.
“In all seriousness though, it’s all about keeping good fast momentum over the whoops and you need to convince yourself to be able to do it.
“We don’t see that sort of surface over here so it’s always a challenge for us West Australians and because of that, we have to make sure the prep on our car is perfect.
“There is no point turning up to biggest race in Australia with a half-prepped car, which is another reason going to every two years it good. It gives us the opportunity to get it perfect.”
The 2019 Tatts Finke Desert Race takes place from Friday 7 to Monday 10 June, with the highly anticipated Street Party and night market kicking off the event on Thursday 6 June.