Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Desert Daredevils; Off-Road Racers Head to the Red Centre with Their Eyes Set Firmly on the Prize

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Desert Daredevils; Off-Road Racers Head to the Red Centre with Their Eyes Set Firmly on the Prize

Article excerpt

KTM Australia is stepping up its commitment to desert racing, with a six rider team confirmed to enter the 2009 Tattersall's Finke Desert Race from June 5-8.

Entered in the bike division on board the KTM 505 XC-F is reigning Finke Desert Race title holder Ben Grabham, plus Brad Williscroft who finished third last year. The NSW duo will also be joined by local Alice Springs riders David Walsh and Jarrod Ewin, along with Craig Carmichael from Townsville.

In the ATV division, KTM is entering reigning WA State ATV Champion, Chris Brenton on board the KTM ATV 505 SX, Brenton is also currently leading the Tri State ATV Series.

Up to 500 bike entries are confirmed for the 2009 Tattersall's Finke Desert Race, with all riders eager to snap up the $10,000 on the line for first place.

Competitors will undergo bike scrutineering in Alice Springs on Friday June 5, followed by a prologue on June 6 over an 8.3km course, to determine the fastest times for the best start.

Racing gets underway on June 7 with the ten fastest bikes in rows of two setting off at one minute intervals. The remainder of the field starts in rows of up to ten bikes at one minute intervals.

There is a time limit of four hours to complete the first 230km leg of the course between Alice Springs and Finke. If competitors don't make it down to Finke with a four hour time limit they're out of the race. The race camps in Finke, and continues for the return journey to Alice Springs on June 8.

The terrain between Alice Springs and Finke extends to the historic Ghan Railway Line in the Northern Territory, while winding through the typical outback terrain of red dirt, sands, spinifex, and desert oaks.

For reigning title holder Ben Grabham, this year's Tattersall's Finke Desert Race will be his fifth entry into the annual event, and his aim is to secure his third consecutive outright win in the bike division.

"This is my first entry with KTM into the Finke Desert Race, and I'm feeling very solid with my preparation, and confident of success. …

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