Sunday, 12 June 2016

Alice Springs & Lawn Hill Trip - Day 11

Day 11 - 12/6/2016 - Finke Desert Rally Race Start

Today was the first stage of the race.  The competitors were racing from Alice Springs to Finke along the Old Gahan railway track.  It was also a cold and early start.  5.3 deg and we were at the track by 7am.  Add the wind chill factor and it felt a lot colder than the 5.3 deg!  The cars were scheduled to start at 7:15 but didn’t end up getting under way until 7:45am.

You had to get here early to get the prime spots in the stand

Toby Price in the ARB Truck

Go the Pajero!!!!

Here is a video of one of the buggies.

There was about a 2.5hour gap between when the last car left, (the stock BT-50), and when the bikes were due to start, which was scheduled for around 11:30m.  We filled in the time by having a wander around the grounds, drinking hot coffee, eating fresh hot cinnamon donuts and hot chips and trying to huddle out of the wind and eating more hot cinnamon donuts ;-)

With about 5 minutes to go until the start of the motorbike race, this old codger decided to back his bus right up to the fence beside the starting line, blocking the view of the start line from our stand and a lot of other people around the track.  One of the event officials in our stand ran over to ask him to move it because it was blocking the view of everyone.  Unbelievably it actually took time for the old codger to understand that he had to move it, he was actually arguing with the official!

A dead set womble!
Even more unbelievable was that he then drove it from this position to the other side of our stand and blocked the view of the rest of the start track from our stand again and everyone else on the corners.  When this happened, Ian had pretty well had enough so he went over and gave him a spray and threatened that if he didn't move it out of the way straight away he was going to have the 80 or so people from our stand on top of his truck!  That seemed to spur him into action and he actually moved it out of the way just in the nick of time for the race start.

Toby Price made it to Finke, jumped straight out of the truck, straight into a plane to fly back to Alice Springs to then hop onto the motorbike too do it again!

Toby Price
Toby Price

Some pretty close racing straight off the bat

Amazing that they didn't get tangled up in the air!

A bit early to start pulling the wheelies, there is still a long way to go!

And here is a video of some of the bikes leaving

After the racing finished we went and did some shopping for that nights dinner.  While we were shopping Lisa, Ian and Pieter headed out to Pine Gap to see how far they could get, which end up being not very far at all.  This was the sign that they came across and not wanting to get onto any ASIO or NSA watch lists, they didn’t venture past the sign.  While they were there they came across a guy collecting soil samples from near the sign.  Que the X-Files theme song!

No entry to Pine Gap - Thanks for the photo Pieter
We had afternoon drinks and dinner with Lisa, Ian and Pieter at the van park that night.  We cooked up some roast chooks and roast potatoes in the Weber while the boys did their washing in preparation for their ride home.  We also spent time downloading the guys GoPro footage off their memory cards, also in preparation for their trip home.

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