Tatts Finke Desert Race is Australia’s biggest off-road race. The Tatts Finke Desert Race is a 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 Northern Territory and has the reputation of being one of the most difficult off-road courses in one of the most remote places in the world.

In the ATV class Yamaha rider Ryan Lancaster scored the highlight of his career by winning the Pro-quad class of the 2012 race.

The 25-year-old pro ATV racer, from Perth, Western Australia, said winning the biggest race in Australia was even better than all of the Australian titles he has to his name.

“The fact it was the first enduro event I’ve done made this win even sweeter,” Lancaster said. “I’m ecstatic right now, I’m very happy, although I am a bit beat up and sore.

“It’ll definitely take a few days to recover from this one, but it was well worth it.” He added.

Lancaster took an early lead of the 452-kilometer (283 miles) race from Alice Springs to Finke and back. Riding a Yamaha YFZ 450, Lancaster had a strong start and built an early lead, crossing the finish line 28 minutes ahead of his closest rival.

On the return run to Alice Springs, Lancaster added 21 minutes to his lead and won the class with an impressive 49-minutes lead.

“Day two went well, I didn’t get quite as good a start as I did on Day 1 and I got caught in a lot of dust from the dirt bikes,” Lancaster explained.

“Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful day. I just took it as easy as I could without losing time and just made sure I got the bike home in one piece.

“Crossing the finish line was fantastic, when you wait for the finish the whole race, when you finally get to it and see all of the people lining the track, it’s certainly one of the best feelings.” he continued.

After completing the event aboard his Yamaha YFZ450R with no issues to speak of, “It’s a testament to how good the bike is and just how reliable they are.” commented Lancaster.

Lancaster is looking forward to having the chance to defend his title if the opportunity arises, however his main focus is on motocross.

“For the time being I’ll be focusing on finishing the motocross rounds and trying to do as well as I can to make up for the start of the year, as I’ve been unwell with a pretty serious virus.”

Quad Results:

  1. Lancaster, Ryan Bullsbrook, Western Austrialia Yamaha YFZ450R 05:06:00
  2. Sheridan, Clinton, Devonport, Tasmania Can-Am DS450XMX  05:54:54
  3. Van Vliet, Mitchell, Narre Warren North, Victoria Yamaha YFZ 450 05:58:28
  4. Smith, Paul Mepunga, Victoria Honda TRX700XX 06:05:50
  5. Clissold, Brett, Pirron Yallock, Victoria Honda TRX 700 xx 06:18:13
  6. Brown, Steve ,Kalgoorlie, Western Austrialia    Suzuki LTR450 06:29:43

To learn more about Austrialia’s largest off-road race click here.

Image courtesy of Tatts Finke

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