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The club organises reconnaissance days on the two Sundays before race weekend (This year they will be Sunday 2 June). Reconnaissance enables our competitors to ride from Bundooma to Finke and back in a controlled situation with Ambulance services. Parts of the race track are on public road's so competitors with an unregistered bike or car must obtain temporary one day registration permits from the Motor Vehicle Registry (these permits are not available on the day).
Along with our local riders/drivers, when interstate competitor’s arrive in town they need to officially register for the race. Registration is held at the Finke Start/Finish Line and all competitor’s sign on and collect their pack containing important information about the weekend. See map for location.
Scrutineering is held at the Blatherskite Park Showgrounds in Alice Springs from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. This is where all competitor’s, bikes and buggy’s, must have their machine and clothing checked and passed for racing. While scrutineering is going on, all bikes and cars are on display, food and drink stalls are in operation, merchandise is on sale and there is usually a fireworks display. Approximately 3000 people attend scrutineering so the place is packed. It’s a great place to get up close and personal with the riders/drivers and their amazing machinery. Additionally you can get a bite to eat, relax, catch up with mates, and get a great feel for the weekend to come. See map of venue.
Prologue…your first taste of Finke racing. All Competitor’s must complete an 8.3km track in a race against the clock to determine their starting position for Race Day 1. The track is typical Red Centre terrain with long straights, tight corners and sandy creek beds. Riders and Drivers can’t go out thinking they have to go flat chat, in the past the track has claimed it’s fair amount of unsuspecting victims including pre-race favourites. By going too hard in Prologue it could result in a Race Day 1 start time they might not be too happy with! This is a great bit of racing to watch before you head down the track camping. See map of Prologue Track.
Cars are first to tackle the 230km track with the first car getting underway usually at 7.30am. The first ten cars take of one at a time at one minute intervals. The rest of the field then start two at a time at one minute intervals. Bikes follow later launching off 11.30am with the 10 fastest bikes (as determined by prologue) starting in rows of two bikes, at one-minute intervals. The remainder of the field will start in rows of up to ten bikes at one-minute intervals.
There is a time limit of 4 hours to complete the first 230km leg of the course. If competitors do not make it down to Finke with the 4 hour time limit they are out of the race and do not start day two as they are out of time. The Clerk of Course has the right to stop any competitor and prevent his/her continuation in the event if it is deemed impractical for that competitor to complete the course within the required time limit.
Competitors must pass through each of the 4 checkpoints situated along the track. There are 3 designated fuel stops also dotted along the track for the bikes; however, the buggies do not stop to refuel. Once competitors get to Finke they must sign off to let officials know they are alive and well so we don’t send out a search party for you in the early hours of the morning. Any competitor who fails to complete the course must notify one of the Official Sweep Vehicles as soon as possible! See map of race track.
Today, competitors do exactly what they did yesterday, but in reverse. They follow the exact same track that you went down on, so it should make it that little bit easier for them as they now know what to expect. Cars are again the first to leave at 7.30am and bikes leave Finke from 11.30am, both on corrected time as calculated from day one’s journey.
Competitors who finished 20 minutes or more after the leader will start in rows of two cars at one minute intervals and up to ten riders at a time, one minute apart, in order of their corrected day one times. Any competitor that misses their allocated start time will leave rear of field. The return journey will be calculated at the finish to give a total elapsed time for the event. All competitors must sign off with an official at the Start/Finish Line in Alice Springs or if they do not make it, at the nearest checkpoint.
Any competitor who fails to complete the course must notify one of the Official Sweep Vehicles as soon as possible! Otherwise we’ll be looking for them all night long while they are having a good time at presentation – this may get them into some serious trouble with the officials looking for them! Race day two also has the best thing about Finke…crossing the finish line! After two gruelling days of full on racing it gives competitors the best feeling that they have made it ‘there and back’ which is one of the most renowned achievements in Australian enduro and off road racing.