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Extreme 4WD: Finke A Happy Hunting Ground

Colin Hunter, Margot Knowles and their V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee complete with Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs compete in 'Extreme 4WD' in the Australian Off Road Championship. This used to be known as Class Eight and is open to highly modified 4WD vehicles with engines not exceeding 6000c.

The Finke Desert Race is run over two days every Queen's Birthday weekend, from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) Aboriginal community and back.

Heavy rain leading into this year's event (Round Three of the 2008 AORC) made conditions grueling. Hunter Racing finished the event 20th outright, first 4WD and first in class, which now puts them at the head of the leaderboard for the 2008 championship points tally in Extreme 4WD, chasing a fifth consecutive class crown. "Aside from the dramas, I was very happy with the car," Hunter says.

"The team has done a fantastic job and the handling is really good. And our Goodyear tyres proved themselves winners again. I think it's testimony to the quality of the product that we ran the whole event on the one set! And with nearly 500 kilometres of racing that's quite exceptional. We had no flats and conditions that varied from mud, soft sand and rocky sections and the grip was fantastic in all conditions."

The Finke Desert Race is a 460km 'race track' split into two segments by the overnight stop (and party venue) at the Aboriginal settlement. During the event, competitors cross the Finke River, believed to be the oldest river in the world.

July 2008