|Australia 2010: David Fellows and Kittle Motorsport takes Finke Desert triple.|
David Fellows and Mark Bergamin have stormed home to win a third consecutive Tattersall’s Finke Desert Race for Peter Kittle Motorsport. Qualifying in third position, the foundations for the teams hat trick of Finke wins was laid in the first section of the race when Fellows opened up the slimmest of leads, just .27 of a second, over Shannon Rentsch between Alice Springs to Finke.
On the home run Fellows never looked back in the twin turbo charged Toyota, completing the race in a time of 3 hours 46 minutes and 39.50 seconds to claim the coveted "King of the Desert" crown. At the overnight Finke service the Peter Kittle Motorsport crew left nothing to chance and Fellows rolled onto the starting grid next to Rentsch for Mondays final leg back to Alice Springs.
"It was a do or die effort off the start line at Finke. You had to get that jump or suffer in the dust. After that we had a dream run coming home with no dust and we were able to back off a bit through the rough stuff and conserve the car" Said Fellows.
Andrew Kittle and Simon Amos campaigned the teams second Jimco at the event. The pair had a character building race down to Finke, battling with the dust and then suffering two flat tyres after hitting a tree that had been dragged on to the track. Before crossing the finish line at Finke on three wheels after losing a front wheel due to an underpowered rattle gun not tightening the wheel nuts properly.
"On Sunday we started in 38th and got home in 22nd, posting the 6th quickest time on the way. It was good fun passing the other cars and spending more time behind the wheel uninterrupted. We are learning all the time which is great. Not everyone finishes their first Finke, so I am happy about that" Said Andrew Kittle, continuing "Simon was blown away with the atmosphere in Alice around Finke time. It has turned in to his favourite race, just like everyone else."
Team owner, Peter Kittle was very proud of the teams achievement: "Finke is the main race and it took us a long time to win our first one and now we have three in a row. It is a pretty awesome feeling and it now makes us even more determined to see how many we can win. We will be coming back here next year with that aim and we’re looking forward to it."
"We’re please with how Andrew performed on the weekend in the #14 Jimco. The main thing we wanted him to do was finish the event and gain some experience. That has happened so we are happy."
The combination of the Jimco chassis, the Shane Wilson prepared twin turbo V6 Toyota Aurion engines and Albins gearboxes is proving to be a solid package for Peter Kittle Motorsports. "We could have turned both cars around and sent them back again."
"From the championship point of view, David is sitting pretty with two wins and the teams we would normally regard as our competition, Shannon Rentsch and the Robinsons haven’t got so many points. So going forward we will aim to win races, but also be consistent and finish. One thing for sure Shannon is a bit wounded at the moment and he is a bit dangerous when he is in this position and we don’t expect him to lie down. It is going to be an interesting year and we have a long way to go."
Peter Kittle Motorsports now looks ahead to the endurance race at Griffith, where strategy is going to be more important than anything. Held from July 23-25, the MTQ Griffith 700 will mark the half way point of the 2010 Australian Off Road Championship.
2010/06/21 | 12:05 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/KITTLE