Tim Button will enter this weekend’s Tatts Finke Desert Race as the youngest driver out of the 165 entered, something he has been working towards for the past two years.
The Alice Springs based 16-year-old has been going to the event as a spectator ever since he was a little boy and always dreamed of one day competing in it himself.
The teenager then began his journey to reach his dream of competing at Finke when he was 14-years-old and finally, after years of hard work and determination,Button completed his 1999 Subaru Brumby and is thrilled to be part of the globally recognised event.
“I used to watch Finke when I was a little baby and pretty much always dreamed of racing in it, so to be entered right now is pretty big for me,” Button said.
“The event is such a big deal here, especially for a local boy like myself and it’s pretty crazy how my cheap Subaru could race with the big boys.
“The car was built in 1999 and since then, it has been rolled about five times. It sat out in the bush for quite a long time until I picked it up and rebuilt it myself.
“It’s got a new engine, new suspension, new everything and I just can’t believe I’ve done all this. I’m ticking off a bucket list item. It feels like a big dream.”
With the youngster making his debut after what feels like a long time coming, he has little expectation for what will be the first of many attempts at Australia’s toughest race.
“I am just happy to be entered. It would be a bonus to finish obviously, making it there and back is the plan but it’s going to be a bit of push getting there in time.
“The speeds that the car can get up to and the whoops are crazy. I am definitely nervous but it should be all good.
“I have never really spoken to any of the big names like Shannon Rentsch and Mark Burrows. Obviously during previous scrutineering sessions, you can look at their cars but usually, they’re not around.
“It’s going be pretty crazy that I am racing alongside them and to be part of the street party and everything. I can’t wipe the smile off my face.”
As for being a local boy in the biggest event for his home town, Button is both prepared and excited for the support he will receive his family, friends and the rest of Alice Springs.
“My family has been really supportive for all this time, although I am not sure they’ve enjoyed all the car parts laying around,” Button added.
“It’s going to a big weekend. A lot of people from my school will be coming to watch me leave the start line, which will be really nice.
“Hopefully I can make everyone proud.”
The Tatts Finke Desert Race takes place on the 7-10 in Alice Springs and Finke.