By OSCAR PERRI
After a year off due to COVID-19, the Finke Desert Race has again taken over Alice Springs. It has already been a busy season for the town, but nothing so far compares to the crowds seen in town last night.
Over the last few days it has been impossible to miss the wide variety of number plates rolling into town ahead of the race. Thousands of these visitors and locals took to Todd Mall for a night of entertainment, market stalls and street food, all buzzing with energy of anticipation for Finke.
On the council lawn, riders and drivers signed on to compete in the race, while on the closed off section of Todd Street behind them, an enormous ramp had been set up, with three motorcyclists demonstrating backflips and a whole range of impressive tricks to a raucous crown.
The night seemed to go off without a hitch, an army of security workers and other staff were roaming the area, as well as traditional owner foot patrols. This resulted in an almost non-existent police presence, a very unusual sight for Todd mall and Alice Springs in general.
Racers and spectators will next gather at the start line south of town for scrutineering this afternoon and the prologue event on Saturday morning.