Doubts over Finke Desert Race following coronial inquest

The 2022 Finke Desert Race

The 2022 Finke Desert Race

There are doubts that the Cars contest at next month’s Tatts Finke Desert Race will go ahead, following the resumption of a coronial inquest into a spectator death.

An inquest in Alice Springs Local Court resumed last week, with the coroner told that there had been a failure to act on safety recommendations and risks highlighted by multiple reports before Nigel Harris was fatally struck by a truck which was competing in the event in 2021.

Findings are yet to be released, but Speedcafe has learnt of doubts among the four-wheel competitor base about whether the 2023 event will go ahead, with several entrants expressing concerns to this publication.

One theory is that insurance costs have become prohibitive.

There is no suggestion at this point that the Bikes division is in doubt and, indeed, the two-wheelers have separate insurance coverage to the four-wheelers.

In essence, the Bikes and Cars contests are separate events, with the former sanctioned by Motorcycling Australia and the latter by Motorsport Australia (as is analogous with respect to Dakar, the FIM, and FIA, for example).

The 2023 Finke Desert Race is scheduled to take place on the King’s Birthday long weekend, June 9-12, with entries for the Cars to have closed this Friday, May 19.

An announcement regarding the event was expected to be made today, according to multiple competitors.

The Cars section was set to be Round 3 of the Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship.

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