SOUTH Australian driver Hayden Bentley won the Tatts Finke Desert Race, round two of the 2013 Australian Off Road Championship, on the June Queen’s Birthday weekend.
He crossed the finish line in Alice Springs in an overall time of 3 hours 42min 38 sec to take his second “King of the Desert” title. Bentley previously won the race in 2007 in a two-seater Jimco, but returned in 2013 to drive single-handedly in his #18 Racer Pro-Buggy.
However, the win wasn’t without drama as a noisy CV joint threatened to let go 60km from Alice Springs. Bentley was forced to capitalise on the lead he had accumulated and crawl the last 10km in first gear.
The podium was filled with Finke Desert Race royalty, with the second and third place getters also multiple winners.
Second outright was the son and father team of Shannon and Ian Rentsch and third were Finke veterans Mark Burrows and Colin Hodge.
With the championship set to tackle a new event for round four at Glenugie, between Coffs Harbour and Grafton, on 14-15 September during the World Rally Championship Rally Australia, Rentsch leads the drivers’ standings on 285 points, with Hanson second on 258 and Travis Robinson third on 230.