In an exciting battle on Day 1 of the 2016 Tatts Finke Desert Race Victorian Glenn Owen with his New South Wales co-driver Mathew Ryan were first into the overnight stop with a time of 1 hour 50 minutes and 12 seconds in their #30 Jimco Nissan 3500cc buggy.
Owen is a multiple former AORC round winner and in the past couple of years has competed in the ARB. He has also competed previously in the Tatts Finke Desert Race but this is the first time he has been a front runner.
Second into Finke was the #413 Geiser Brothers Trophy Truck Chev 6000cc crewed by West Australians Beau Robinson and Stephen Ketteridge-Hall in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes and 3 seconds, followed by Mark Burrows/Colin Hodge in the #21 MBR Jimco 2012 Holden Alloytec 3500cc with a time of 1 hours 51 minutes and 10 seconds.
Brad Gallard and Scott Motistach were placed fourth in #454 Geiser Brothers Trophy Truck 3500cc with a time of 1 hour 51 minutes and 13 seconds.
Much of the pre-event attention had been deservedly on reigning Dakar bike Champion and four time Tatts Finke Desert Race winner Toby Price competing this year for the first time in the car division as well as on his KTM bike.
After rolling his #487 Geiser Brothers Trophy Truck Chev 6000cc in pre-running on Friday he set a prologue (qualifying) time that was good enough for him to start 19th on the road today.
Price certainly impressed today by finishing fifth into Finke in his maiden car event with co-driver Kyle Pfitzner on board in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes and 30 seconds.
Day 1 times on the 226 kilometre journey were slower this year as compared to the fastest time last year of Jack Rhodes/David Pullino who made the trip in 1 hour 47 minutes 34 seconds in 2015.
This year Jack Rhodes and David Pullino in the #91 Jimco Aussie Special Nissan 3500cc were ninth into Finke with a time of 1 hour 57 minutes 20 seconds after setting the fastest time in Prologue yesterday.
Last year’s eventual Tatts Finke Desert Race winner, the son and father combination of Shannon and Ian Rentsch in the #1 Jimco Buggy Nissan 3500cc were looking strong for most of the journey today but lost time late in the run and came into the overnight stop in 7th position in a time of 1 hour 55 minutes and 43 seconds