Trio sets sights on desert race
DINGO Creek Winery is renowned for its ability to produce a top drop.
But rather than keep its interests strictly on winemaking, Dingo Creek Winery spokesperson Marg Gillespie said the business was branching out and sponsoring three endurance motorbike riders with their sights set on Australia’s greatest desert race.
Benefiting from the sponsorship is father and son David and Adrian Gillespie together with Tony Rietner.
Riding under the tag of Dingo Creek Racing, the trio will tackle the 2010 Tattersall’s Finke Desert Race - the largest off-road desert race in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting a maximum field of 500 competitors each year.
The multi-terrain ‘there and back’ race is held over two days on the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend and covers a staggering 460 kilometres from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community.
The race is fraught with danger. Last year, a Dalby man was killed when his bike slammed into a tree.
Despite the risks, the Gympie competitors are eager to take part in the event.
Adrian, 27, is planning on using the race as a warm up for the eight-day Australian Safari race to be held in Western Australia in September. He also competed for the first time last year.
“It’s really addictive,” he said. “A lot of guys said to me last year I would be back because I would love it so much.”
Last year, Adrian finished 160 overall and 20th in the Open 450cc class.
“I had hoped to finish above the halfway mark, so I was really happy,” he said. “If I can crack the top 100 this year that would be excellent.”
Preparation is key for the big race and Adrian hasn’t neglected any detail.
He has been hitting the home gym in his shed and pushing bike riding three times a week, covering up to 30 kilometres a ride.
The mental aspect of the race is also something Adrian is prepared for.
“You can race up to four hours at once with now break except re-fuel, so it can be really taxing,” he said.
Adrian’s father will join his son at the starting line for the first time while Rietner will also receive his first exhilarating taste of the event.
“Tony works with me and got interested when I got back last year,” Adrian said.
“He’s been asking lots of questions and wants to get stuck into it.”
The trio joins fellow Gympie competitors, Crank Cats Racing, including Peter Baulch, Darren Sorensen and Matt Vickery, supported by Michelle Green and Danielle Sorensen.