Gearing up for ultimate race

Trevor Chandler and Jake Williams are gearing up for the Desert Finke Race 2022. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS. 280134_01

By Jamie Salter

Local residents Trevor Chandler (Londyn Motorsport) and Jake Williams (JW Motorsport) are about to put their skills to the test at Australia’s most gruelling off-road race.

The Tatts Finke Desert Race is a multi terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community and back again.

Trevor and Jake will drive up to 220 kilometres an hour across waist-deep holes s they race across the Northern Territory desert.

Trevor said he grew up around the thrilling sport.

“I believe I was five days old when I was first put on a buggy. I grew up in Portland where there’s a lot of sand dunes and my father raced buggies his whole life,“ he said.

This will be his first time participating in the Desert Finke Race, entering in the Pro Buggy class.

“The biggest thing for me is getting the car finished, I need to get the little bugs out of it and to do a few test runs,“ he said.

Jake grew up racing motorbikes but after one too many injuries he made the switch to car racing.

“I had done a little bit with Polaris and other brands and then I was lucky enough to drive for Yamaha and we had a really good run,“ he said.

“It’s still a dangerous sport but everything needs to meet regulations, so it’s more mechanical issues that cause the danger.“

In 2017, Jake came first in the Desert Finke Race Side by Side class and has been eager to take out the race once again.

“You cant even describe Finke to people – there’s 15,000 spectators spread through the desert. Imagine a Mad Max party and that’s what it’s like,“ he said.

“It doesn’t matter what result you get, as you finish you start to plan what you’re going to do differently next year.“

Although it is a high-speed sport, Trevor said he is his most relaxed when he gets behind the wheel.

“You don’t think about anything else, you just react and there’s nothing like it,“ he said.

Trevor and Jake met through racing and a “bromance“ was quickly born.

“There’s a lot of travelling to events from Queensland to Kalgoorlie and a lot of time to get to know each other,“ he said.

“Teaming up eases the financial burden and makes the logistics easier.“

The sport is rapidly growing in popularity and will be televised on Channel 7.

The race is held annually on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June.

Follow Outback Assassins on Instagram and YouTube for the latest updates on the team’s journey.