International off-road star Toby Price believes 2020 will be the year of unfinished business as he looks to improve to another level in his four-wheel racing career.
The 32-year-old recently finished third on the bike at the Dakar Rally, his fifth podium in the past six events, however, it proved to be a difficult event for the 2019 champion after his fellow competitor and good friend Paulo Goncalves passed away during the race.
With the dust now settled from the challenging event and Price having time to reflect, he remains proud of his performance despite not going back-to-back.
“This year’s Dakar was a little disappointing. It was good to keep my podium streak going, but that was the only positive,” Price said.
“A lot of things happened that were out of my control which made it harder, but we are still proud. A lot of people would love to have a third in Dakar but for us, we always go there to win.
“With everything that happened this year, it was a tough event both physically and mentally. We’re still stoked with the result though because we faced a lot of adversity, especially with Paulo passing away. I knew I wasn’t myself for the rest of the race.
“Yes, I am an athlete and I need to win races, but I am a human first and I will always put people first before winning races.”
It’s going to be a busy year for Price this year as he looks to compete at international events in both two wheels and four wheels categories.
Over the coming months, Price will be attempting to race in the United States’ Mint 400 and on the bike in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, as well as jumping back in the truck for the 2020 Tatts Finke Desert Race.
Finke has been hard on the international star, with Price yet to finish the iconic race behind the wheel of his trophy truck in three attempts. However, the six-time Finke two-wheel winner believes 2020 could finally be the year after implementing a new strategy.
“Finke is always one I am trying to do well at and at this year’s event, we are doing a lot of different strategies,” Price explained.
“We are building a new truck with TSCO Racing because I am putting everything on the line to try and make this work and finish the event after three years of bad luck.
“We’re going all out for Finke with the completely new truck. While it’s a year with more pressure than ever before, I also have great support from sponsors, a new program and new people behind me.
“If it doesn’t quite work this year, I don’t know what my options are to try and get the things across the line in the future so it’s exciting but nerve-wracking at the same time.
“I’m also trying to work out if we can secure a ride on the bike there too. If we can do the double again, it would be great.”
While finishing Finke will be a major priority for Price, there are also chances for him to compete in selected Australian SXS Championship rounds and the Baha 1000 again.
“I’d like to do Baha with Nasser Al-Attiyah again after we finished second last year and it would be fantastic to do a couple of SXS rounds again,” Price added.
“Whenever there is a free spot available to go do one of these rounds, they are definitely on the cards because it’s a fun environment with good events and it’s always exciting to compete in them.
“I have been in chats with Can-Am to do rounds in both the US and here but due to my schedule, I can’t book anything straight away and I need to assess as the year goes on.
“If the stars align and there is an opportunity to race in SXS this year, then I will be signed up and ready to go because I really want to do them.”
June’s Tatts Finke Desert Race is the second round of the new-look BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship with the season to begin at St George in April.