Finke Desert Race receives final green light

Toby Price on his way to winning the 2022 Finke Desert Race

Toby Price on his way to winning the 2022 Finke Desert Race

The Tatts Finke Desert Race has received its Motorsport Australia permit, paving the way for the Cars section of the event to go ahead.

Being an event for motorcycles and cars/trucks, Finke needs permits from Motorcycling Australia and Motorsport Australia to proceed.

However, as reported by Speedcafe earlier this week, the latter was still outstanding, amid the delivery of scathing findings from a coronial inquest into the death of a spectator in 2021.

A Finke spokesperson has now confirmed to Speedcafe that a permit was issued this morning by Motorsport Australia.

That a permit would be issued close to the start of an event is not exceedingly unusual, and is indeed common practice with respect to street tracks for circuit racing given they are only completed in the days out from racing.

However, this year’s preparations for Finke had been complicated by the need for additional spectator safety measures, including the rollout of additional bunting and signage.

Said rollout has now been completed, as a condition for obtaining the permit, after calls for help from volunteers in recent days.

A host of new spectator safety measures will be introduced this year following talks with Motorsport Australia last month, including minimum spectator setback from the track of 30 metres, supervised public viewing points, spectator exclusion zones at high-risk corners, and spectator safety marshals “stationed along the length of the track”.

While the Prologue takes place in Alice Springs, tomorrow, the race proper is a 226km drive/ride down to Aputula (Finke) and the return journey on the following day.

Scrutineering takes place today, with competitors in the four-wheel field including Toby Price in his bid to take a third straight outright win in a trophy truck, and the Ford Performance/Walkinshaw Performance Ranger Raptor in the Production 4WD class.

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