It was a victory that had been a long time in the making.
Toby Price –a six-time winner of Finke on a bike – finally achieved victory in an event that had eluded him for so many years.
For years, the New South Welshman had come up short in a trophy truck – whether it a mechanical failure or just being unable to finish, Price just couldn’t win the Tatts Finke Desert Race on four wheels.
However in 2021, he produced a performance that many would have considered perfect.
He took out the Method Race Wheels Prologue and gave himself every opportunity to stand on the top step come Monday morning,
Qualifying behind him in Prologue was a handful of other contenders, all of who fancied themselves as potential winners. Price’s two biggest threats though were Josh Howells and Beau Robinson – two other drivers yet to win the great race.
Price’s victory arguably came as a result of a perfect Sunday, where he charged down the 226km to Finke from Alice Springs in record time.
His 1 hour, 39 minutes and 15.6 seconds proved to be the quickest in the event’s history and set him up nicely.
Although Price was remarkably quick, both Howells and Robinson were impressive in their own right, with the former just over two minutes behind in second place, while Robinson was a further 18 seconds off.
The front three were a cut above the rest of the field with the fourth placed Aaron James almost seven minutes behind Price and two minutes of James in fifth was Peter Costello and Ben Brooks.
On Monday, there were two contrasting stories between the top two.
Price took his foot off the pedal a little bit and focused purely on getting back home. Howells on the other hand was on a mission to chase down Price and get that victory.
The then BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship leader did everything right on the way back up to Alice Springs and punched in the best result of the day.
He went one minute faster than Price but ultimately it didn’t make a difference as the eventual winner reached the chequered flag first and broke a drought that he started to get the better of him.
As for the final position on the podium, Aaron James produced a brilliant Monday performance to go third fastest for the day, but it was Robinson and navigator Shane Hutt who finished third for the event.
The 2022 Tatts Finke Desert Race takes place in Alice Springs and Aputula on 10-13 June.