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Travis Robinson and David Walsh qualify on top for 2017 Tatts Finke Desert Race

TRAVIS ROBINSON PROLOGUES FASTEST AHEAD OF 2017 TATTS FINKE DESERT RACE

West Australian Travis Robinson and Trent Anthony (#13 Jimco OBR Nissan 3500cc) has blitzed the 130 strong car field in Prologue to decide the start order tomorrow for the 2017 Tatts Finke Desert Race.

Robinson took ‘pole’ with a remarkable time of 4 minutes 50.1 seconds around the 8.3 kilometre prologue track as compared to last year’s fastest lap of 5 minutes and 12 seconds achieved by Jack Rhodes.

Second fastest today was the son and father team of Victorians Shannon and Ian Rentsch (four time Tatts Finke Desert Race winners 2005, 2006, 2014, 2015) in their #33 Jimco Nissan 3500cc with a time of 4 minutes 53.4 seconds.

In third place it was South Australians Jack Rhodes and David Pullino (#1 Jimco Aussie Special Nissan 3500cc) who stopped the clock at 4 minutes 55.5 seconds ahead of the fourth fastest crew of  Beau Robinson/Shane Hutt (#413 Geiser Bros Trophy Truck Chev 6000cc) with a time of 4 minutes 59.5 seconds. Beau Robinson was on the podium at the 2016 Tatts Finke Desert race coming home outright third.

Fifth fastest in today’s prologue was the #410 Ford F150 5900cc machine of South Australian crew Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings (2011 Tatts Finke Desert Race winner) with a time of five minutes 0.5 seconds with fellow South Australians Brad Gallard/Scott Modistach (#454 Geiser Trophy Truck 6000cc) in sixth with a time of 5 minutes 1.1 seconds

Dakar and Finke two-wheel champion Toby Price/Luke Henry who placed second last year in his inaugural Tatts Finke Desert Race four wheel campaign was seventh fastest today with a time of 5 minutes 2.6 seconds in the #487 Geiser 2015 Chev 6000cc machine recently imported from the USA.

Rounding out the top ten fastest in Prologue  were #88 Chris Coulthard/Robert Hawker (Jimco 2000 Chev 6000cc) in 8th,  #135 Andrew Moles/Mathew Morgan (Razorback 2010 Nissan 3500cc)  in ninth, and #21 Mark Burrows/Colin Hodge (Jimco 2012 Holden) tenth fastest.

Last year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race winning car crew of Glenn Owen/Mathew Ryan prologued today in 11th position.

ALICE SPRING’S DAVID WALSH STEPS UP A NOTCH TO TAKE FASTEST BIKE PROLOGUE TIME FOR KTM IN 2017 TATTS FINKE DESERT RACE

Local Alice Springs rider David Walsh (#3 KTM EXC500) has set the fastest time on the 8.3 kilometre Prologue track for the 2017 Tatts Finke Desert Race.

Walsh’s lap was completed in a time of 4 minutes 55.7 seconds, four point eight seconds ahead of #X99 Husqvarna FE450 rider Ivan Long from South Australia who recorded a time of 5 minutes and zero five seconds.

With five time Tatts Finke Desert Race winner Toby Price being side-lined from this year’s bike field as a result of injuries sustained at this year’s Dakar event, Walsh has certainly stepped up as the KTM ‘team leader’ with his Prologue time and has placed himself well to have a good chance for victory in this year’s race after taking third place outright last year.

Toby Price’s Prologue winning time last year was 4 minutes and 58 seconds.

If Walsh wins, he would be the first Alice Springs rider to take victory since Ryan Branford in 2006.

Third fastest today was NT rider Daymon Stokie (#4 Yamaha WR500F) with a time of 5 minutes 3.2 seconds.

Jacob Smith (#X95 Honda CRF450R) prologued in fourth at 5 minutes 4.8 seconds followed by fifth fastest Luke Hayes (#6 KTM EXC500) 5 minutes 6.9 seconds, and Josh Green (#297 Yamaha WR500F) sixth with a time of 5 minutes 9 seconds.

Todd Smith (#7 Honda CRF450R) who won the 2013 event was seventh at 5 minutes 12.5 seconds.

Football legend and several time Tatts Finke Desert Race competitor Tony Lockett (#804 KTM EXC500) prologued in position 440th with a time of 7minutes 27.9 seconds out a total of 556 bikes that started today. 

Tomorrow’s (Sunday June 11, 2017) race for cars commences at 7.15am for leg 1 of the event that takes the field 226 kilometres from the Alice Springs start to the overnight stop at Finke before returning to Alice Springs on Monday June 12. 

All photos NT Event Photography

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