In the lead up to the 2016 Finke Desert Race, Australia’s top off-road racer and reigning Dakar Rally Champion Toby Price is prepared to take on two separate and gruelling categories of the race at once, in both the Motorcycle and Truck categories.
The multi-terrain two day trek from Alice Springs to Finke and back covers 480 Kilometres of desert with 600 motorcycle and 140 car competitors taking on Australia’s toughest race with 20,0000 spectators lining the high speed trek. The historic race is currently the fastest and largest desert race in Australia, where Price is aiming to retain his title as ‘King Of The Desert’ in the Motorcycle category whilst also attempting to become the first person ever to win two categories simultaneously.
“For the last 3 years I’ve been extremely eager to compete in both classes, I like a bit of a challenge and something new, we just need to wait and see if we can pull it off which is the exciting part,”
“My interest in the trucks sparked when I started competing in the Stadium Super Trucks Series at the Clipsal 500, Adelaide in 2014, and the sponsors have come on board and have been a big help to make this dream of mine come true.” Price said.
Price has previously won the Finke Desert Race 4 times, including last year, and a fifth win will see him tie with current motorcycle category record holder Randall Gregory.
“I won in my very first attempt in 2010, and have won 4 motorcycle categories but this will make it a lot harder, it’s definitely not easy but I like a challenge and I want to be able to do this race with both categories while I’m fairly young and if anyone had the chance to do what I’m doing I’m sure they would jump on top of it as well,” Price said.
While Billy Geddes was the first to achieve the “Finke Ironman” feat in 2014, this years campaign will be the first time a current motorcycle champion will risk a title defence while also trying to claim a truck win. While a win in his rookie truck campaign is a tall order, recent success in the Stadium Super Truck series gives Price some confidence in the seemingly impossible task.
Price is still recovering from a back injury, but is confident in his ability to compete at the Finke Desert Race.
“My back has been good and everything has been going really well, I still have a little pain but nothing is progressing and getting worse so that is the main thing so I’m comfortable,” Price said.
Price has just returned from Alice Springs where he was testing and pre-running the bike leg prior to the race with his KTM Australia Factory team.
“I’ve just got back from Alice Springs and was doing some testing on two wheels, I have a similar setup to last year and it feels comfortable, we should be able to go well.”
“We are just going to try and organise a test session in the truck and see what it’s going to feel like and what we can hit and how big we can hit, so we are just going to go from there and see how it goes. Logistically this has been a massive challenge for my internal team, KTM Racing and Geiser Brothers to even get us to the start line so if nothing less this is going to be an epic adventure!” Price said.
ARB, BF Goodrich, Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Northern Territory Tourism, Mightmite, Clipsal 500, Blundstone, Red Bull, GoPro, CRC, Lancaster Motor Group, KTM Australia and OVO Mobile will all be joining Price’s campaign.
The 2016 Tatts Finke Finke Desert Race takes place in Alice Springs, Northern Territory from June 10-13 June.