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Are you ready to make your mark in 2019?


Hi Everyone,

I am pleased to announce that entries are now open for the 2019 Sunraysia Safari Rally. Supplementary Regulations and Entry forms are now available on our website (sunraysiasafari.com.au), and entries will be accepted in order of receipt, until we reach our maximum field. Please note that we are not running a nomination process this year, and with a number of priortiy entries (from last year's competitors) already being received, there are only around 70 places left (combined for Auto and Moto). Also bear in mind that entries aren't "formally" accepted until both the entry form and entry fee are received, so if you're keen to tackle the longest (and let's face it, probably the best!) Rally in Australia, I'd suggest you get onto it pretty quickly!

And why wouldn't you! We're flat out at the moment putting together some brilliant competitive sections, using some all new properties, and some of our favourites from previous years as well (some farmers just insist we keep coming back!!), and I'm thrilled to report that even as I write this, many of our properties are receiving long awaited rainfall! So whilst it's currently playing havoc with my course survey plans, we're hopeful that come September you'll see a completely different side to the region, with a healthy tinge of green on the ground! The support and assistance we receive from the entire community is just amazing, and it's lovely to be able to put on this event to give something back. So please get along and be a part of the action from September 11-14!

This year we have classes for Moto, Quads, Sidecars, Cross Country Rally cars, "conventional" PRC\Historic\Classic Rally Cars, Side by Sides, and selected Off Road vehicles, so you have a pretty wide range of options to compete in! We're looking for at least 1200 competitive kms over the 4 days, with a variety of terrain, and a bit of navigation thrown in to keep you on your toes. It's suitable for first timers (what better place to start in Cross Country Rallying!), with enough to keep the wily veterans busy as well! Once you've had a go at this type of rallying, I promise you won't want to do anything else!
As always, if you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact me. I urge you to get your entries in quickly to avoid missing out, and very much look forward to seeing you up here in Wentworth in September.


Troy Bennett
Sunraysia 2018 unofficial and provisional results . To view the official results, please visit: https://www.sunraysiasafari.com.au
 
CARS
Pos Car No Category Driver Navigator Time Gap to Leader Gap to previous
1 306 A 4 Michael Denham Daniel Adam 11:48:58    
2 305 A 4 Jason Noonan Sam Sapuppo 12:11:31 0:22:34 0:22:34
3 303 A 5.1 Rob Herridge Sam Hill 12:23:49 0:34:52 0:12:18
4 317 A 6 Phil Lovett Robert Blackadder 12:31:29 0:42:32 0:07:40
5 300 A 5.3 John Purshouse Toni Feaver 12:31:35 0:42:37 0:00:05
6 312 A 3.4 Richard McNay Aaron Blacksell 13:33:09 1:44:12 1:01:34
7 310 A 1.3 Luke Olholm Gordon Trigg 13:34:33 1:45:36 0:01:24
8 316 A 1.2 Josh Wilson Robert Wilson 13:50:38 2:01:40 0:16:05
9 313 A 5.2 Brett Ross Jason Hague 14:09:08 2:20:10 0:18:30
10 318 A 6 Jason O'Brien Richard Swane 14:25:05 2:36:08 0:15:57
11 315 A 1.3 Simon Knowles Margot Knowles 14:57:22 3:08:25 0:32:17
12 302 A 4 John Hederics John Williams 17:34:34 5:45:37 2:37:12
13 320 PRC Michael Sawyer Andrew Sawyer 27:13:09 15:24:11 9:38:35
14 301 A 5.3 Greg Scanlon Liam Nunns 22:28:28 10:39:30 -4:44:41
15 307 A 4 Glenn Owen Mathew Ryan 24:39:58 12:51:00 2:11:30
16 319 A 6 Graham Colbran Paul Campion 25:43:35 13:54:37 1:03:37
17 304 A 5.2 Warren Denham Arron Topliff 22:08:51 10:19:54 -3:34:44
18 314 A 5.3 Guy Shoemark Heidi Shoemark 41:50:22 30:01:25 19:41:31
19 309 A 5.3 Todd Smith Geoff Smith 42:15:05 30:26:07 0:24:43
                   
                   
                   
MOTORBIKES    
Pos Car No Category Rider Time Gap to Leader Gap to previous    
1 2 H 2 Jacob Smith 10:44:03        
2 1 H 2 Rod Faggotter 10:47:12 0:03:09 0:03:09    
3 8 H 3 Luke Hayes 10:57:30 0:13:27 0:10:18    
4 40 H 3 Beau Hederics 10:59:32 0:15:30 0:02:03    
5 4 H 3 Toby Hederics 11:24:29 0:40:26 0:24:56    
6 9 H 3 Allan Roberts 11:32:15 0:48:13 0:07:46    
7 10 H 3 Matthew Gillespie 11:57:47 1:13:44 0:25:31    
8 15 H 3 Sam Davie 12:04:12 1:20:09 0:06:25    
9 36 H 3 Shannon Dixon 12:26:10 1:42:08 0:21:58    
10 12 ADV Gary Monaghan 12:37:20 1:53:17 0:11:10    
11 3 O 45 David Schwartz 12:37:36 1:53:33 0:00:16    
12 21 O 45 Malcolm Taylor 12:45:16 2:01:13 0:07:40    
13 32 H 3 Jason Stewart 12:52:14 2:08:12 0:06:59    
14 23 O 45 Rod Hinton 13:07:32 2:23:29 0:15:17    
15 33 O 45 Travis Gow 13:11:19 2:27:17 0:03:47    
16 20 H 3 Paul Smith 13:28:01 2:43:58 0:20:29    
17 11 O 45 Tony Rutter 13:30:12 2:46:09 0:02:11    
18 14 H 2 Jason Mitchell 13:30:21 2:46:19 0:00:09    
19 25 O 45 Don Lark 14:09:03 3:25:00 0:38:41    
20 24 H 2 David Winterburn 14:47:35 4:03:32 0:38:32    
21 30 H 2 Kent Worland 14:50:00 4:05:58 0:02:25    
22 37 ADV Conrad Fairhead 15:01:08 4:17:05 0:11:07    
23 29 H 3 Matthew Tisdall 15:01:17 4:17:14 0:00:09    
24 27 O 45 Max Bowater 15:03:56 4:19:53 0:02:39    
25 34 O 45 Billy Fishwick 15:07:11 4:23:09 0:03:15    
26 22 ADV Paul Bannister 15:13:09 4:29:07 0:05:58    
27 31 H 2 Des Hogan 15:14:28 4:30:26 0:01:19    
28 18 H 2 Shane Schutz 15:37:20 4:53:17 0:22:52    
29 19 H 3 Daniel Banks 14:54:46 4:10:43 -0:42:34    
30 26 O 45 Dylan De Szabo 18:50:42 8:06:39 3:55:56    
31 16 H 3 Anthony Diener 17:39:44 6:55:42 -1:10:58    
32 98 QUAD Victor Bonnaci 19:05:46 8:21:43 1:26:02    
33 28 H 3 Peter Clews 22:52:06 12:08:04 3:46:21    
34 7 H 2 David Geeves 22:06:16 11:22:13 -0:45:50    
35 5 H 3 Nik Forsyth 24:43:20 13:59:18 2:37:04    
36 35 H 3 Simon Jenner 33:24:24 22:40:22 8:41:04    
37 17 H 3 Michael Burgess 35:32:59 24:48:56 2:08:35    
38 38 H 3 Joel Spoor 46:29:40 35:45:37 10:56:41    
39 6 H 2 Chad Vernon 48:40:00 37:55:58 2:10:20    
                   

The Tatts Finke Desert Race is an off road, multi terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community. The race is held each year on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. “Finke” as it is commonly known, is one of the biggest annual sporting events in the Australian Northern Territory and has the reputation of being one of the most difficult offroad courses in one of the most remote places in the world. Finke is unique and the most fun you can have with a helmet on!
 

Record Numbers in Record Time

The first race milestone has been met for this year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race, with bike entries declared full within five hours of them being open. 
 

“While there’s always a lot of anticipation around how many you’ll get in the first few hours, to be full before 2pm was definitely a welcomed surprise” said Race President Antony Yoffa. 

 
Riders still entering need not despair, as in previous years the official waitlist for the event is still taking entries. 
 

“Any competitor who enters after entries are full will go on to the event’s waitlist, so when someone pulls out, the next person comes in”. 

 
Victoria has strong representation with 23% of total competitors followed by Queensland and South Australia each with 18%.  Local competitors make up 10% of competitors now entered.   There are two previous Kings of the Desert competing this year. 

Toby Price is making a return to the bike section after breaking his femur in Dakar 2017 saw him confined to only competing in the car section of the event last year.  Four time winner Ben Grabham is making a return after three years away, having not competed in the event since 2014.   

2017 Tatts Finke Desert Race Highlights Reel


KICK OFF PARTY FOR RACE WEEK 2018 
 
This year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race extravaganza will include a new, free and public Thursday night function, that is sure to be a hit.   
The inaugural ‘Finke Street Party & Night Markets’ will combine the highly successful Alice Springs Town Council Night Markets in the iconic Todd Mall with Australia’s original, longest running and most successful freestyle moto x team; Showtime FMX.    
The Showtime FMX team will put on a show that will thrill onlookers - whether they are into motorsport or not.  They will perform in front of the Council lawns with a section of Todd Street closed for the evening. 
The riders will soar through the air performing tricks such as rock solids, turn downs, heart attacks, backflips, backflip variations and more… and even if you don’t know what all of these terms mean, you have to admit, it sounds pretty impressive! 
 

“We wanted to add a little more excitement to the entertainment that goes on across Finke week” said Finke Desert Race Club President, Antony Yoffa.   

  
An array of enticing multicultural food choices will be available on the night, along with a large variety of stallholders selling authentic indigenous art, craftworks, handmade clothing, jewellery and much more.  
  

“We are really excited to be partnering with the Alice Springs Town Council to launch a great night of entertainment that is fun and appropriate for all ages” said Yoffa.  

  
A limited range of Finke merchandise will be on sale on the night, along with the chance to win a double pass for a VIP Helicopter Flight over Prologue 2018.  
Five Time King of the Desert, Toby Price, is also scheduled to appear at the event from 7pm, for ‘Finke Fanatics’ to have an up close and personal meet and greet, just days before he attempts to take home the crown in not only the bike event, but also the cars – as he challenges the Desert in a Dual Event Run. 
Further details to be announced in the coming weeks as the Finke Desert Race Club plan to create an epic ‘Kick Off Party’ for Australia’s Ultimate Desert Race. 

Source Finke Desert Race 

A Message from the Event Director:

Hi Everyone!

You may not have heard much from me for a while, but let me assure you we've been working flat out on this year's event since not long after the 2018 Sunraysia Safari finished! We've already made significant progress on accessing all new properties in new areas, which should add an exciting new dimension to the rally, with a wider variety of terrain, and hopefully some more challenging tracks as well. My biggest challenge is always finding the balance between too easy and too hard, too rough and too smooth, too long and too short, and then on top of all that, working  that in with the property owners to access the tracks in the first place, and utilising what they have offered for the rally. 

The dates for the 2019 Sunraysia Safari have been set as September 11-14, based again at the Wentworth Showgrounds. It's a month or so later than we ran in 2017/18, and there's several reasons behind the move; to avoid clashes with other events, to work in with the Wentworth Show (to allow us greater access for our service park), and it will be just that little bit warmer, with a bit more daylight, and hopefully the ferocious wind storms will have blown away by then! We've reverted to a 4 Day Rally (Wednesday-Saturday), as we felt that worked better for everyone, and we've got some pretty big plans for interactions with the local community on the Tuesday, with documentation and scrutineering set for a revamp! The pre-event briefing will again be on the Monday evening at the Coomealla Club, so everyone should aim to be in town on the afternoon of Monday September 9, and be heading for home again on Sunday September 15. A great week of rallying, camaraderie, and adventure.

I'm heading up again this weekend, to continue meeting with farmers, and sourcing the best tracks I can find, often the ones that others can't!! We're pretty excited about what we've got planned for this year: at least 1200 competitive kms over the 4 days, with some very long stages a possibility. In fact, we're looking at reaching those kms with only 3 stages a day, with a couple of stages being "marathons",  so competitors will be working hard from start to finish! For those that have competed in either 2017 or 2018, it will be a far greater challenge, and for those new to it, you're in for a great experience.

On the subject of entries, we had a 50% increase from 2017 to 2018, and even at this early stage, we expect a big increase again for 2019. The reality though is that we can only accept another 20-30 entries above last year's numbers (due to scheduling and safety considerations), so it's probable that we may exceed the number that we can allow to enter. So if you're really keen, I strongly suggest you keep an eye out for the Supp Regs, they're currently being finalised and once approved, we'll release them and entries will open at that point. As we did in 2018, you will need to nominate to enter prior to regs being released, so we can give priority to the competitors who've supported us previously. Further details on registering for nominations will be available when we've revamped and updated the website.

2019: New Year, New Classes!
We've been inundated with enquiries regarding vehicle eligibility, and as a result, we're introducing a class for Sidecars, and expanding the Classic Rally Car\PRC Rally Car Class. So for everyone with a "conventional" rally car, you're more than welcome, and capable, of competing in the Sunraysia Safari. It's the largest rally in Australia (in terms of competitive distance), and in terms of value for money, it's also the best in Australia, by quite a margin! The course will be able to be completed, probably with less wear and tear (definitely better on tyres!) than you'll experience in a normal forestry type rally. Come and experience a real long distance event, with diverse terrain and stunning scenery, amazing people and an unforgettable adventure! You really won't regret it.

September 11 is not far away!
We're going to be making some exciting announcements regarding the event's future in the coming month or so, and we're working flat out to make the 2019 Sunraysia Safari the best yet. We're redoubling our efforts, and our commitment to the rally and the community, and we're hoping everyone will get on board again for an epic adventure! Competitors, Officials, Corporate Partners, Landowners, and the local communities all play a critical role in the overall success of the rally, so get involved, and get cracking, because it will be September before you know it! 
Keep an eye out for further updates, and as always, if you have any further queries, please contact me at any time.


Troy Bennett, Event Director


Source Sunraysia Safari 2019 newsletter
The priority entries for the 2018 Sunraysia Safari have now finished, and everyone is now invited to enter this year's race. Supplementary Regulations and entry forms are now available on the official website (www.sunraysiasafari.com.au), and entries will be accepted in order of receipt.

The organizers have confirmed that they have already a pretty healthy list, and have received for many more teams that want to enter the race both from motorbikes and autos.  

The renewed 2018 Sunraysia Safari still needs the support from all of us to continue to be one of the most amazing races in Australia and ensure the ongoing viability of the event.  

The Sunraysia Safari Cross Country Rally is the largest Cross Country Rally in Australia, and in terms of competitive distance, may in fact be the longest rally overall. Run mainly in the Wentworth Shire in Outback NSW, and utilising properties in the Wentworth, Pooncarie, and Mildura regions, its inaugural running in 2017 was an overwhelming success, and has set the foundation for the event to be a real highlight on the Australian Motor Sport calendar.

The 2018 Sunraysia Safari Rally will be run from August 7-11, and will be based at the Wentworth Showgrounds, with each leg of the event starting and finishing at that location. Competitive distance will be round 1500kms in total over the 5 days.

To know more or make your entry, please visit the rally official site here: https://www.sunraysiasafari.com.au/

Nominations Open for 2018 Sunraysia Safari Cross Country Rally
 

Following the resounding success of the inaugural Sunraysia Safari, interest in the 2018 event has well and truly exceeded even our expectations. Given the number of enquiries we have been fielding from competitors, even at this early stage, there is a very strong likelihood that we will be oversubscribed with entries for this year, so to facilitate the entry process we’ve created an online nomination form.

All competitors interested in entering the event will need to fill in the form, and will be then sent the Supplementary Regulations and Entry form for their respective categories. Please note that submitting a nomination does not mean you are obligated to enter the event, nor does it guarantee your entry will be accepted.

To submit a nomination, please click on the link below:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BhZAZI7myuYTFOwrRtWOA4NRKzoX9Tx7tNJHzy1fpV8/edit?ts=5ab0da1f

The Sunraysia Safari Cross Country Rally is the largest Cross Country Rally in Australia, and in terms of competitive distance, may in fact be the longest rally overall. Run mainly in the Wentworth Shire in Outback NSW, and utilising properties in the Wentworth, Pooncarie, and Mildura regions, its inaugural running in 2017 was an overwhelming success, and has set the foundation for the event to be a real highlight on the Australian Motor Sport calendar.

The 2018 Sunraysia Safari Rally will be run from August 7-11, and will be based at the Wentworth Showgrounds, with each leg of the event starting and finishing at that location. Competitive distance will be round 1500kms in total over the 5 days.

Source Sunraysia Safari
A Message from the Sunraysia Safari Event Director:

Hi Everyone!

You may not have heard much from me for a while, but let me assure you we've been working flat out on this year's event since not long after the 2018 Sunraysia Safari finished! We've already made significant progress on accessing all new properties in new areas, which should add an exciting new dimension to the rally, with a wider variety of terrain, and hopefully some more challenging tracks as well. My biggest challenge is always finding the balance between too easy and too hard, too rough and too smooth, too long and too short, and then on top of all that, working  that in with the property owners to access the tracks in the first place, and utilising what they have offered for the rally. 
The dates for the 2019 Sunraysia Safari have been set as September 11-14, based again at the Wentworth Showgrounds. It's a month or so later than we ran in 2017/18, and there's several reasons behind the move; to avoid clashes with other events, to work in with the Wentworth Show (to allow us greater access for our service park), and it will be just that little bit warmer, with a bit more daylight, and hopefully the ferocious wind storms will have blown away by then! We've reverted to a 4 Day Rally (Wednesday-Saturday), as we felt that worked better for everyone, and we've got some pretty big plans for interactions with the local community on the Tuesday, with documentation and scrutineering set for a revamp! The pre-event briefing will again be on the Monday evening at the Coomealla Club, so everyone should aim to be in town on the afternoon of Monday September 9, and be heading for home again on Sunday September 15. A great week of rallying, camaraderie, and adventure!
I'm heading up again this weekend, to continue meeting with farmers, and sourcing the best tracks I can find, often the ones that others can't!! We're pretty excited about what we've got planned for this year: at least 1200 competitive kms over the 4 days, with some very long stages a possibility. In fact, we're looking at reaching those kms with only 3 stages a day, with a couple of stages being "marathons",  so competitors will be working hard from start to finish! For those that have competed in either 2017 or 2018, it will be a far greater challenge, and for those new to it, you're in for a great experience.
On the subject of entries, we had a 50% increase from 2017 to 2018, and even at this early stage, we expect a big increase again for 2019. The reality though is that we can only accept another 20-30 entries above last year's numbers (due to scheduling and safety considerations), so it's probable that we may exceed the number that we can allow to enter. So if you're really keen, I strongly suggest you keep an eye out for the Supp Regs, they're currently being finalised and once approved, we'll release them and entries will open at that point. As we did in 2018, you will need to nominate to enter prior to regs being released, so we can give priority to the competitors who've supported us previously. Further details on registering for nominations will be available when we've revamped and updated the website.

 

OFFICIALS AND CORPORATE PARTNERS REQUIRED!

Like all events, the Sunraysia Safari relies on our team of volunteer officials to keep the rally rolling along smoothly. It's never too early to start planning, so if you're interested in being involved this year, please contact me ASAP, and no doubt we'll find you a suitable role. We've already got most of our road crews sorted, and some of our control crews are  returning for another week in the NSW outback, but there's lot of positions still available! It's a great way to be involved, and see what Cross Country Rallying is all about, in a spectacular part of Australia
The same applies for anyone interested in getting their business involved as a Corporate Partner of the Sunraysia Safari. Our profile and exposure are growing at an unbelievable rate, and the opportunities we are able to offer are truly unique, and represent excellent value for money. On top of all that, you'll be supporting the ongoing viability of the event; we don't require a huge investment, but we certainly need some assistance in covering the costs of staging the rally. For further information please contact me directly. 

  

2019: New Year, New Classes!

We've been inundated with enquiries regarding vehicle eligibility, and as a result, we're introducing a class for Sidecars, and expanding the Classic Rally Car\PRC Rally Car Class. So for everyone with a "conventional" rally car, you're more than welcome, and capable, of competing in the Sunraysia Safari. It's the largest rally in Australia (in terms of competitive distance), and in terms of value for money, it's also the best in Australia, by quite a margin! The course will be able to be completed, probably with less wear and tear (definitely better on tyres!) than you'll experience in a normal forestry type rally. Come and experience a real long distance event, with diverse terrain and stunning scenery, amazing people and an unforgettable adventure! You really won't regret it.
 

SEPTEMBER 11 IS NOT FAR AWAY!

We're going to be making some exciting announcements regarding the event's future in the coming month or so, and we're working flat out to make the 2019 Sunraysia Safari the best yet. We're redoubling our efforts, and our commitment to the rally and the community, and we're hoping everyone will get on board again for an epic adventure! Competitors, Officials, Corporate Partners, Landowners, and the local communities all play a critical role in the overall success of the rally, so get involved, and get cracking, because it will be September before you know it! 
Keep an eye out for further updates, and as always, if you have any further queries, please contact me at any time.



Troy Bennett, Event Director
Toby Price has further underlined his reputation as ‘King of the Desert’ at Australia’s premier offroad contest. Not only did Price claim his sixth Finke Desert Race win on two wheels, but also came close to victory in the truck category as well.

The 2018 Finke Desert Race was targeted by Price as an opportunity to pull off an outlandish stunt. Not only did he compete in the bike race, he also raced his Red Bull Trophy Truck at the contest as well. This meant that after crossing 230 kilometres of outback on four-wheels he would fly back to start-line and cover the same ground by bike – on both days of the race!

Following the first day of racing from Alice Springs to Aputula the ‘Iron Man’ double was on with Price well placed in the truck and bike races. On the second day though the power steering pump on the truck broke and ended Price’s assault on four wheels. However, Price was flown back to the start line where his KTM 500 EXC-F bike was waiting.

The 2016 Dakar Rally winner jumped on his bike and raced back to Alice Springs. A winning time of under four hours put Price more than 10 minutes ahead of the next rider in the final standings.

There’s more race action coming up for the Red Bull Desert Wings squad later this month at the Italian Baja. The racing in northern Italy takes place June 21-24 with the event being the sixth round of 11 stops that comprise the 2018 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.

Looking to extend their World Cup lead in Italy will be Polish driver Kuba Przygonski alongside Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul in their Mini. Przygonski currently leads the championship on 186 points from Russia’s Vladimir Vasilyev who sits second on 143 points. Martin Prokop is also a threat with the Czech driver third in the championship on 137 points.

Przygonski and Colsoul will be hoping for victory in Italy to match their early season wins at the Dubai International Baja and the Qatar Cross-Country Rally.

Quotes

Toby Price:

“We’re pumped to get our sixth win for the Finke Desert Race! The race was definitely hard on us. We had a little bit of a crash around the 100km mark coming home. Overall I’m stoked, six wins on the bike for KTM and it’s amazing that we’ve got the record for all-time wins in that category.

"Unfortunately, we didn’t go as well in the truck category for the ‘Iron Man’ double because the power steering pump blew. But all in all it was good times and I’m happy everything is all wrapped up. Now it’s time to kick back and relax a little bit and celebrate with the team.”

Kuba Przygonski:

“In our last race at Rally Kazakhstan we were fighting right until the end and we ended up with second place. In Italy we want to pick up as many championships points as we can. We were taking lots of risks and attacking as much as we could.”


Source: Red Bull
Photo: Brett Hemmings / Red Bull Content Pool

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