Hume Ecstatic with Finke Success

By Jem Anshaw

There is no Australian off-road race as well known as the Finke Desert Race.

For Muswellbrook’s Eric Hume his second run at the Northern Territory event has ended on the second step of the podium alongside his teammate Josh Howells.

Speaking with The Hunter River Times after the event wrapped up, Hume was unsurprisingly over the moon with their weekend.

“We couldn’t be more excited and to get two cars home we are really happy,” he said referencing the sister Howells Motorsport car that finished 16th outright and second in class.

Finke is run over two days – on Sunday entrants make a 230km journey from Alice Springs along an old rail access road to Apatula where teams have the opportunity to service their vehicles before making the return trip on Monday.

“That Finke track’s brutal – some of the corners just come up on you and it unsettles the car and you are a passenger – even the driver is a passenger,” Hume explained, adding some of the ruts are at least three feet deep making his job as navigator an important one.

“I make the calls if I think a call is necessary and Josh listens to me 100%. There is a big trust thing there that Josh can trust me like that and I trust him to steer it.”

While many would be forgiven for questioning why the Howells Motorsport entry is so happy to come in second, it is because they were behind Toby Price.

“I’ll take second to that guy any day of the week, he is an incredible athlete,” Hume said acknowledging Price’s capabilities.

“We actually caught Toby with 40 or 50 kilometres to go – we saw his chopper in the air and we were saying to each other ‘we’ve caught him’, it made it all a bit real.

“Just unfortunately we couldn’t quite get there.”

This is Price’s first win in a car, having racked up six wins on bikes at the event.

Of the 543 bike entrants to take part in the 2021 Finke Desert Race there are a few names that will stand out for locals.

Josh Gleeson from Merriwa was the top placing local on a bike coming in 54th on his KTM 500.

Others from the area who took to the desert were Grant Brocktrup (Aberdeen), Mark Blake (Muswellbrook), Jason Pearce (Hunterview), Andy Noonan (Scone), Steven Atton (Hunterview), and Morgan Hall (Martindale).

The Monday return leg of the race was cancelled due to an incident at the end of the car category, so placings from Sunday were made final.