Finke Desert Race - 2009

CalOffroad is pleased to be associated with and sponsor racers in this event

Jeep XJ Cherokee - Chief Cherokee Racing

Congratulations on a great performance:
5th in Class - Extreme4WD and 35th Overall Cars/Buggies
In a race where finishing both days was an achievement and the first in class ran 20th Overall.

Click on any picture to enlarge

jeep xj jeep xj jeep xj Finke 810 Start Finke 810 Crew Finke 810 Scrutineer Finke 810 Service Finke 810 action 1 Finke 810 Action 2 Finke 810 Action 3 Finke 810 action 4

Muz Collins e-mails:

"What an eventful race! we went great finishing the race in 35th out of 77 starters and 5th out of 8 class 8 vehicles.

Firstly we would like to thank our sponsors:
*As always your parts and knowledge prove to stand up in extreme conditions.

Magnum Steel
*All the engineering and welding you put into it was perfect, the truck was very strong and all the weak spots you strengthened held up perfectly.
Mickey Thompson
*Cant do a race like this without tires and the truck looked great all weekend.
Differential and Mechanical
*Drove the truck much harder then it ever has been driven before, we had it on the rev limiter in top gear for 20klm's in one section and the car never looked like missing a beat, great job guys
Roadway Mufflers
*Truck looked, went and sounded great.
Glenns 4x4 wreckers
*Truck looked great with all your new bits on it, need a few more now and thanks for the support.
BP Bungendore
*Kev always helps out and always has good knowledge with many years experience in offroad racing.

The Team
*Next we would like to thank our team without you guys we could not have got there nor finished. All you guys did a wonderfull job and thanks again
*Ollie, Chris, Steve, Tim, Bruce, Nana, Keira and most of all Julie for a great job navigating and Poppy for managing the entire show.

Now for the story.

Starting with prologue we went really well shaving over a minute of last times effort and bettering our goals. 6:14 put us ahead of a heap of cars at 58th outright, last in class but only a 11 secs split 9 of us. We drove with full confidence in the truck and as hard as our stock motor would go.
Day 1
we were going fantastic until the 50km mark where hit an unmarked launcher hard, the moment we hit we blew the rear tire and almost went over the handlebars landing off the track and driving only on the front wheels. Unable to steer at this time I had to drive straight at whatever was in front of us and it happened to be tree. Not much damage, the car had stopped and I did not know why. We found the plates on the rear diff had bent cause the diff to roll and to catch and rip out our fuel line. some bush repairs fixed this for now.
We then started on the blow out and you would not believe how hard it is to jack a truck in sand with a bottle jack (fell off the jack twice). 23 minutes later we were back in the race and going well again.
Around the 150km mark we were getting back into the swing of things when a hit on the front blew a front tire, I was unaware that we had also blown a front diff and being in 2 wheel drive half way up a massive dune we got bogged. Well this was a major problem and took 26 mins and a lot of hard work before we got going again. We scraped in with less then 3 minutes to go before timing out.
The crew did a magnificent job and getting us ready to return. We then relied on Extreme motor sports who were down there with there Jeep to perform some majic and repair our diff. Stewart and Phil were absolutely unbelievable and tig welded a new brace for our spring mounts with no fuss with a job you would expect from a workshop not in the middle of the desert - guys can not thank you enough for this.
Day 2
a leaking fuel tank, no spare tires, 2 dirty ten year old BFG all terrains on pumped up hard, untested rear diff and a blown front diff we went back for more. Driving smart and steady we were doing great and had passed 7 other vehicles until 150km when a terrible noise came under my feet. The gear box mount is weak and the transfer was hitting the floor on big hits - I was 100% sure we broke a gear box mount. For the next 70kms we drove slowly just to get it home. Not long after deep wells the boys told us the exhaust was hanging off, it suddenly made sense to me this is what was making the noise so we got back on it and came home hard. Very rewarding finish."