Red Bull racer Toby Price (#487) is one step closer to clinching his second King of the Desert crown in the Car category at the 2022 Tatts Finke Desert Race, reaching the Finke (Aputula) checkpoint with a record-setting time on Race Day 1.
Price and navigator Jason Duncan completed the first 226 kilometres of Australia’s toughest off-road race in 1 hour, 36 minutes and 38.5 seconds – the fastest time ever set in Finke Desert Race history in the Car category on Race Day 1.
The Finke favourite is on the brink of clinching back-to-back King of the Desert titles, clearing the 113-strong Car field by a staggering 5 minutes and 5.6 seconds.
Price and Duncan’s record is 2 minutes and 35 seconds quicker than Price’s fastest time set on Race Day 1 in 2021 while on his way to his first ever Finke win in the Car category.
Aaron James (#93) crossed the line at the Finke (Aputula) checkpoint as second fastest on Race Day 1 with a time of 1 hour and 41.4 minutes, with duo Brent Martin and Ben Dawson (#120) rounding out the top three with a 1 minute and 12.3 second deficit to second fastest.
After finishing Prologue in 16th, Victorians Tyler Owen and Max Owen (#41) improved on Race Day 1 to arrive at Finke (Aputula) just 5.9 seconds shy of the Top 3 in fourth position.
The improvements from Prologue results continued with six-time winner Shannon Rentsch and father Ian jumping up two spots to complete the Top 5.
Two-time winner Hayden Bentley and Viv Coe (#818) finished the journey to Finke in sixth, edging 2011 King of the Desert Greg Gartner and Mark Hannaford (#410) in seventh by 27.7 seconds.
Eighth fastest on Race Day 1 was brother and sister duo Jake and Kate Swinglehurst (#49), while Toby Whateley and Simon Herrmann (#421) crossed the line in ninth.
Rounding out the Top 10 was Jason and Sam Richards with a time of 1 hour 49.1 minutes.
After finishing Method Race Wheels Prologue Day yesterday in second, Josh Howells and Eric Hume disappointingly recorded a DNF (did not finish) alongside Finke fan favourites Beau Robinson (#413) and 2016 winner Glenn Owen (#30) who finished Prologue fourth and fifth respectively.
Australian Off Road Championship leader Ryan Taylor and navigator Adam McGuire had a significant hit to their title fight, dropping outside the Top 30 after suffering tyre damage during the journey to Finke.
Chris Coulthard jumped from a Prologue result of 30th to conclude Race Day 1 just outside the Top 10 in 11th.
Complete results from Race Day 1 for the Car category can be viewed here.
Competitors will now camp overnight at the checkpoint before departing Finke (Aputula) for Alice Springs tomorrow morning (Monday, June 13) at 7.15am local time.
The first car is expected to make its arrival at the Start/Finish line in Alice Springs at approximately 9.05am local time.
The 2022 Kings of the Desert for the Car category will be crowned after competitors complete the return journey to Alice Springs tomorrow.
The Tatts Finke Desert Race is an off-road, multi-terrain two-day race for bikes, cars and buggies through desert country and has the reputation of being one of the most difficult off-road courses in one of the most remote places in the world.
The Tatts Finke Desert Race will take place from June 10 – June 13, 2022.