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Pickering takes production class victory in Finke Desert Race


Queensland's Geoff Pickering and navigator Dylan Watson pick up 12th Finke Desert Race Production 4WD class victory and continue unbeaten run.

The duo, again driving a race-prepped Mitsubishi Pajero, finished the two stages with a time of 6 hours, 29 minutes. That put them 50 minutes ahead of Western Australia's Jason Galea and Markus Christie, who finished second in their Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Finishing on top of the production class timesheet in 2015 continues Pickering's run of class victories in each of his 12 attempts.

"The secret is aiming to finish," Pickering said.

"I don't go out to win, like many who charge down the track only to be left stranded on the sidelines with a broken car."

The Finke Desert Race involves a 230km run from the outskirts of Alice Springs down to the remote community of Finke, on the northern edge of the Simpson Desert, before returning the next day along the same route. The 2015 race featured 134 cars and purpose-built off-road buggies, along with nearly 600 motorcycle and quad bikes.

The secret is aiming to finish

Despite taking a cautious approach to the car-breaking outback challenge, Pickering and Watson's run didn't have its own mishaps.

"We heard a banging in the rear about a quarter of the way back," Pickering said.

"I thought maybe the jack had come loose and it was bouncing around."

Instead, it was discovered that a rear shock absorber had broken, however the Pajero's dual-shock suspension setup allowed them to make it to the finish line in Alice Springs.