The Tatts Finke Desert Race will be a round of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport’s (CAMS) BFGoodrich Australian Off Road Championship (AORC) until at least 2020.
The iconic event will be held on 9-11 June 2018 and will see Australia’s best off road teams converge on Alice Springs for the gruelling 226 kilometre out-and-back event.
CAMS’ General Manager of Motor Sport Events Michael Smith said: “The Tatts Finke Desert Race is one of the largest off road desert races in the world and provides some of the toughest, roughest racing conditions in Australia. It’s fitting that this event is part of Australia’s premier off road championship.
“The Tatts Finke Desert Race has been a part of the Australian Off Road Championship for 15 years and we are very pleased to see that continue into the future.”
Finke Desert Race Committee President Antony Yoffa believes the partnership between the Tatts Finke Desert Race and the BFGoodrich CAMS AORC is mutually beneficial.
“It works well for both of us,” Yoffa said.
“The additional support we receive from CAMS in terms of the professionalism of the officials that come up for a championship round and also the addition to the national profile of the event is great.”
The Finke Desert Race attracts around 140 car entries and more than 570 motorbikes; 2017 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the addition of four-wheel vehicles to the event.
“If this was a bike race only, we would not have the national interest that we do. Cars have colour, speed, and they are all different and that’s the attraction,” Yoffa explained.
“The cars are all one-offs; you can’t go to a shop and buy one, they are all purpose built. They are all so different and they attract the sponsorship—sponsors love to see their logo on a pro buggy or a trophy truck.”
The Tatts Finke Desert Race also provides a boost to the local Alice Springs economy. More than 6000 competitors and crew stay an average of six nights in the region and it is estimated that around 17,000 people visit the event and camp along the track during the event.
It is believed the event funnels an impressive $6 million into the town.