In 1976 a group of motorcycle riders held a “there and back” challenge from Alice Springs to the Finke River and back. After the overwhelming success of the first ride, the Finke Desert Race was born and has been held annually on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend which is the second weekend in June.
The “Finke” as it’s known has become one of the biggest annual sporting events in the Northern Territory of Australia. Racers go against typical outback terrain of red dirt, sand, spinifex coastal plants, mulga native plants and desert oak. The race gained the reputation as the richest Off-Road Race in Australia. With an increase in popularity the Finke added the introduction of cars and off-road buggies in 1988. For many years the buggies couldn’t keep up with the bikes, until 1999 when a buggy took home the win. The next following years would be a rivalry between cars and bikes to see who could take home the title of “Kings of the Desert.”
2020 was the first time the race was ever cancelled but has made a comeback for 2021. The organizers have worked hard to make sure the 2021 race goes off with a bang. Over 700 competitors are signed up to go through the multi terrain two-day race that goes from Alice Springs to the small Finke Community. Be sure to check back on this page with the latest update.
This year’s prologue will be held on Saturday June 12, 2021 and will start at 8am local time. Competitors will depart one at a time at one minute intervals to tackle the 8 KM course starting and finishing in Alice Springs. Racers are allowed one reconnaissance lap of the Method Race Wheels Prologue course and finishing times will determine the starting order of Race Day 1.
It’s safe to say, the 2021 Finke Desert Race is no easy task. Toby Price’s win at the Method Race Wheels Prologue foreshadowed what would happen in the next two days of racing the 226km course from Alice Springs to Finke and back. There was no stopping Toby of winning the Finke outright with a finishing time of 3 hours and 22 minutes. This made Toby Price the first person to win on both a bike and a truck in Finke history.
Ryan Taylor had a strong finish in 6th place in the Pro Buggy class with a time of 3 hours and 49 minutes while Greg Campbell finished 5th place in the Side by Side Turbo class with four hours and 19 minutes.
Toby is an Australian motorcycle racing world champion representing KTM and Red Bull in cross country rally. He has won the extremely challenging Dakar race twice, five Australian Off-Road Championships, five Hattah Desert Rallies, and two Australian 4-Day Enduro wins. His Mitsubishi Triton Trick Truck is equipped with Method Race Wheels 103 beadlock wheels.
Born and bred in regional Geelong, Mick was a country lad with a competitive streak. From an early age Mick competed in BMX racing and in nearly a decade competed in and won several state and national titles. In 2004 Mick began racing 4WDs and his passion soon saw him competing at major events like Cliffhanger and Outback Challenge in Broken Hill. Fast forward to 2018 and Mick found himself in the Extreme 2WD Class with a US built TSCO Trick Truck at the Finke. This year he returns with the TSCO Trick Truck equipped with Method Race Wheels 103 beadlocks.
Based in the sunshine coast of Queensland Australia, Ryan Taylor has been racing since 14 years of age and 26 years of competition. Taylor is no stranger to the Finke, with a total of 8 Finkes under his belt. In 2019 he got up to 3rd on the road before getting hit with electrical issues. He’s behind the wheel of a Tatum Buggy prepped with Method Race Wheels 103 beadlock buggy wheels that you can check out here.