Red Dirt Diary are back with a bang, following the Bentley Motorsports team’s attack on the 2021 Tatts Finke Desert Race with exclusive behind-the-scenes access thanks to Toyo Tires. Hear from RDD’s top dog Dan Everett in this guest post and, if you missed our daily Finke updates, here are links to parts one, two, three and four.
The Toyo Tires family is a wide and diverse one, and there’s never been a better example than the latest episode of Red Dirt Diary. 4WD larakins meet elite of the elite off-road racers in one of Australia’s only 4WD trophy trucks, a 1000hp+ Nissan GT-R powered monster spinning 39x13.50R17 Open Country M/T-Rs.
On the latest episode of Red Dirt Diary, we’ve headed to the centre of Australia to tag along with the family from Bentley Motorsports, not only one of Australia’s premier race teams, but one of the nicest families around. Kicking off in their hometown of Port Pirie, we head out to the Bentley’s private test track to see two of the team’s trucks being put through their paces. Hannah Bentley is behind the wheel of car 418, a 600hp LS-powered rear-wheel-drive beast that her father, Hayden Bentley, has been campaigning for years. Preparing for her Finke debut along with her brother Sam, Hannah uses the time on the test track to dial in her comms while we run around with grins from ear to ear capturing a bunch of footage for her upcoming drive profile.
Next up, Hayden Bentley, a two-time winner of the iconic Finke Desert Race, threw his new custom-built Class 8 trophy truck through the corners like only a 4WD can do. After wrapping up filming at the test track, the Bentleys gave us a list of destinations in the area to head off to explore. First up was the southern tail of the stunning Flinders Ranges. The Bridle Track kicked off from sea level and took us up into the clouds with stunning views out over the Spencer Gulf in every direction, it was just a tease for how much untouched wilderness was in the area to explore. After heading back down from the mountains we were off to check out the Port Germein Jetty and ended up a couple of inches below sea level after sinking axle deep in the soft sand. A quick recovery and we were back on solid ground at the Bentley facility helping strap the rigs down to the transporters.
Kicking off the three-day drive to Alice Springs really drove home how remote the heart of Australia can be, with even the nearest truck stops being a full tank of fuel apart from each other. We camped Bentley style with a mobile city set up just a few metres off the Stuart Highway for a final night with the crew before heading in to Coober Pedy for a couple of running repairs along the way. With just a few days until the race kicked off, excitement levels were through the roof, but you’ll have to wait for the next episode to see how the Bentley crew fared, and the action the Red Dirt crew have captured.