Toby Price wins Finke in Mitsubishi Triton Trophy Truck
Toby Price breaks through Finke for first four-wheel win.
Six-time motorcycle-category Finke winner Toby Price has now claimed victory in the car category, a trophy that finally comes after several previous attempts which were thwarted by crashes or mechanical failure.
Racing a specially-developed Mitsubishi Triton Trophy Truck, Price was first on Day 1, but an overheating engine partway through Day 2 saw him have to coast for almost half the 226km return leg. Despite finishing the second leg behind Josh Howells/Eric Hume (Jimco buggy), Price’s Day 1 result meant he finished more than a minute ahead in the overall.
As he’s still recovering from injuries sustained in this year’s Dakar, Price only entered the car category this year, but hasn’t ruled out another attempt on the ‘double’ (racing both car and bike categories) in the future.
Motorbike rider David Walsh also won his second King of the Desert crown at this year’s Finke Desert Race.
This year’s Finke was marred by the death of a spectator following an incident on the second day involving one of the car competitors.
Emergency services’ response to the incident saw the car leg abandoned after approximately 80 competitors had completed the return to Alice, and with a section of the track declared a crime scene, it was decided to cancel the rest of the event before the return leg for the motorcycle competitors got underway.
With the race abandoned, the motorcycle category podium would be based on Day 1 results, which meant Walsh took the win.
Walsh (KTM) was aiming to defend his title this year against strong competition in the form of Jack Simpson (Husqvarna), Jacob Smith (Husqvarna) and Beau Ralston (Husqvarna), to name a few. Simpson would take a narrow victory over Walsh in the prologue that determined starting order, but in the Day 1 run to Aputula, Walsh had opened up a lead by the first checkpoint that he would extend to the finish line.
The 31-year-old builder from Alice Springs completed the opening day’s 226km run to Aputula in 1h45m34.9s – a full 10 minutes better than the previous Day 1 best time and 5 minutes ahead of Simpson. Ralston was third. This would ultimately be the podium for the race.