Organisers for the Tatts Finke Desert Race have extended the event’s entry list to 165 starters after an overwhelming amount of interest was shown in the iconic off road race.
The decision comes after the original cap of 150 was exceeded by the end of the first day of opening, 110 of those being received within the first 20 minutes.
For the first time in the event’s 31 year history, competitors who missed out on initially entering the event were put on a waiting list in case any of the already-entered teams were forced to pull out ahead of the event.
Fifteen crews from a variety of classes made up the historic waiting list including drivers in the Pro and Pro-Lite classes, as well as eight being from the SXS class which has grown in popularity over the previous few years due to the DEWALT CAMS Australian SXS Championship.
Remarkably, six-time Finke Motorcycle King of the Desert champion Toby Price was one of the 15 drivers to miss the initial cut off, but thanks to the extension, the 2019 Dakar winner will have his third attempt at the incredible feat of completing the event on both two and four wheels.
Last year, Price attempted the Iron Man double for the second time in his career and while he was able to take out the bike title, his buggy faltered on the way back to Alice Springs forcing him to retire from the event.
Price’s inclusion into the Tatts Finke Desert Race will see him line up against some legends of off road including nine-time BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Champion Shannon Rentsch, five-time Finke winner Mark Burrows, and Dave Fellows who won a hatrick of Tatts Finke Desert Races between 2008 and 2010.
With the car total now up to 165 after the inclusion of the 15 crews on the original list, other drivers will now have the opportunity to sign up and be the first in line for the next group.
The bike section is also at capacity with 650 places already locked in, and a further 83 riders on standby lists.
The Tatts Finke Desert Race is the second round of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship, which begins with the St George 399 next month.