Hunter motor sport endurance star Toby Price is on track to claim the Iron Man Double at Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory.
Price leads the motorbike section and is second in the trucks after a gruelling day of racing from Alice Springs to Finke.
Price and his navigator Jason Duncan finished the opening truck leg from Alice Springs to Finke in 1 hour, 50 minutes and 57 seconds.
Driving a 2017 Geiser Built 6L V8 Chev, they are 2m:59.3s behind Shannon and Ian Rentsch in the Jimco Aussie Special Nissan and eight minutes clear of the team of Greg Gartner, Jamie Jennings and Mark Hannaford in the Geiser Bros Ford Raptor TT.
Price flew back to Alice Springs for the bike section of the race and blitzed the field to lead by more than four minutes from local rider David Walsh and put himself in pole position to claim his sixth bike title.
Really stoked to arrive in Finke 2nd just a few minutes from the leader after a wild ride down in the Red Bull Trophy Truck, we had a couple of close calls and managed to rip the tracker off the roof.
Chasing his first truck win and the first double victory in the event’s history, Price sets off from Finke on Monday morning in the truck before flying back to the remote Central Australian town to complete the bike leg.
Hunter motor sport endurance star Toby Price is second in the truck leg of the Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory.
Price and his navigator Jason Duncan finished the opening leg from Alice Springs to Finke in 1 hour, 50 minutes and 57 seconds.
Driving the 2017 Geiser Built 6L V8 Chev, they are 2m:59.3s behind Shannon and Ian Rentsch in the Jimco Aussie Special Nissan and eight minutes clear of the team of Greg Gartner, Jamie Jennings and Mark Hannaford in the Geiser Bros Ford Raptor TT.
Price flew back to Alice Springs for the bike section of the race.
Hunter motor sport endurance star Toby Price has set off in fourth place in the truck leg in his attempt to claim the Iron Man Double at the Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory.
Price qualified fourth in the truck prologue and first in the bike section by the just 0.4 of a second, finishing in a time of 4m:58s
After the truck leg from Alice Springs to the remote desert town of Finke, the former Dakar Rally winner will jump on a plane and fly back to repeat the bone-jarring endurance test on his bike.
All going to plan he will repeat a similar process in the return legs back from Finke to Alice Springs.
“Damn, that was a crazy close prologue for us but we're stoked to come out on top with a time of 4m:58s,” Price posted on Facebook.
“We caught some pretty crazy dust but surprisingly after two years since I last raced the bike out here I could still feel my way through those tricky sections.
“This is a huge step in the right direction for the Iron Man Double and I'm looking forward to a massive day tomorrow.”
Price has won the Finke crown a record five times on his bike and is looking for his first truck title and to become the first competitor to complete the truck and bike double in the same year.
“We got through prologue on two wheels and four wheels all in one piece which is the main thing,” Price said in a video posting.
“The bike felt really good, it felt strong. The truck felt really good as well. We’ve qualified the truck first we ended up fourth which we’re really pumped on. It’s still going to be a dusty old run down that way.
“We came out with a win there by about 0.4 or something which is a very, very slim margin.
“We fought on to the back of the guys in the first group, the last little bit at the end became a little bit difficult for us. I couldn’t see but we salvaged it just by a fraction.
“Things are going to plan at the moment but tomorrow’s a new day anything can happen.
“We’ll try to get a good run on the truck, get on the plane and come back and do it all again.”
Price is one of several Hunter competitors in the annual desert classic with Cessnock’s Jason Gunther completing his dream of competing after being ruled out as an 18-year-old with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.
Improvements in treatment have allowed Gunther, now 42, to front up to the starting line in Alice Springs on his bike.
Mark Sinclair from Richmond Vale is competing in his first Finke and Michael Roycroft, from Elrington is back for the fifth time but his first on a motorbike. Both are riding for Sherco Newcastle.