2019 Dakar Rally winner Toby Price has powered his way to victory at the third round of the 2019 DEWALT CAMS Australian SXS Championship in Ballarat in perfect conditions. Wet conditions were forecast on Saturday, but the rain held off, leading to a spectacular day of racing in what was one of the tightest rounds of the season.
Price, who drove his Can-Am Offroad SXS vehicle to the win, said he was well prepared coming into the event having had practice runs at Finke back in June.
“I took my Can-Am out to Finke this year and did a lot of pre-running in it so I had a lot of wheel time on it there but around a motocross track I haven’t done anything with it in a while.” Price said.
It took a few heats for Price to get settled in, keeping the pace with the rest of the field for most of the morning before stepping it up a gear in the final heats to qualify fastest for the semi finals. From there it was all strategy as Price paced himself for most of the semi final before using his ‘Joker Lane’ on the second last lap to jump to the front of the pack and take the race win.
A great grid position meant Price was able to get a quick start in the Grand Final as carnage behind him ensued with four-time CAMS Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans locking up his breaks and colliding with a competitor putting him out of contention. From there, Price was rarely troubled, finishing first comfortably to take his very first win in Ballarat.
“Rocking up here a bit cold turkey for it hoping for the best here in Ballarat and we’ve come away with the best result and got a win for it, so it’s been a really good day.” Price said.
Following behind was Ewan McClue who despite missing the first round, has now put together two solid performances, winning Canberra outright and now finishing second in Ballarat.
“This round was tough; everyone was really fast. Obviously, we had guys like Toby Price, James Shipp and Simon Evans and they were all quite quick. It was a pretty tough round so I’m very happy with second.” McClue said.
Tim Liston won the SXS Sport class for the third event in a row ahead of Robert Gussenhoven, steering his buggy to a class victory in difficult dusty conditions.
“Today was pretty tough. Our car is great in the wet and the track was very dry and had a lot of grip. There was a lot of two-wheel action which made the track completely different to what it has been.” Liston said.
Liston now sits second overall and will carry plenty of confidence heading into the fourth and final round.
‘It’s worked out really well for us. This is our third-year racing and hopefully third time’s a charm and we take out the season win.” Liston said.
The DEWALT CAMS Australian SXS Championship now moves to the north-west of Victoria in Caveat for the final round of the season on 26 October.
Report: Alex Patterson CAMS | Images by Dirtcomp