Not too many people know the Finke Track the way Toby Price does, and the great thing for those lucky enough to be joining the Cam-Am Adventures Tour is – he loves to share.
Time poor he might be, but one of the highlights for Toby was the chance to finally show some mates what he’s been talking about all along.
‘That’s the best part,’ Toby enthuses. ‘You try to explain what the Finke Track is really like. You say there’s areas there – what we call ‘whoops’, which are areas of really bumpy terrain which can last for 50, 60 kilometres. To explain to people how deep and how rough that terrain is, and then to get your mates in the machine and go driving at Finke with us is always exciting. It brings people into your world, to see what you’re experiencing on race day.’
As you might have guessed, Toby is familiar with the Maverick X3 Max, with the vehicle an essential part of his race preparation.
‘The Maverick X3 Max is a huge key to my role in getting myself prepped for racing in that terrain in my trophy truck,’ he explains. ‘To be able to carry almost the same speed in the Can-Am, helps me get focussed and ready for Finke.’
Running the trophy truck can be an expensive exercise, and Toby prefers not to risk damage close to race day.
‘To be able to have the next best thing (to his trophy truck) helping me get my course notes means I can do my job while taking friends and family for an experience, so they can be part of the race as well,’ Toby says. ‘It’s the best way I can pay back my crew, friends and family who help me achieve my goals.’
Not that riding at Toby Price speed is for everyone.
‘Sometimes people want to get in, but 20 – 30kms down the track they unexpectedly want to get out,’ he laughs. ‘They then realise that the world that I’m in, it’s very high speed and everything comes at you pretty quickly, and some people don’t like to experience their life flashing before their eyes.’
Toby makes special preparations with his Maverick X3 before a trip to Finke.
‘That entails maybe changing the top part of the chassis, putting a different roll cage,’ he explains. The car does get changed quite a bit for Finke, but that’s from going in race conditions from a recreational vehicle. We really put it through its paces and running at speeds we would in the actual Finke race. It’s the main tool that I use to get ready for the Finke race.’
Safety considerations are top of Toby’s list; ‘heroes’ are advised to take it easy.
‘Of all the things I would put on the car, safety nets would be first, in case something does go wrong – people tend to put their arms out the window – it’s a natural instinct. There’s no trophies for recreational driving, it’s good to take time to get used to the machine too, how it reacts.’
Listening to Toby wax lyrical about his favourite race, it’s impossible not to get caught up:
‘Finke is one of those races that is on people’s bucket list; one of those things that they always want to do,’ he says.
‘It’s one of them races that’s so rough – beat up, high speed, it draws everybody out there each year. Somehow, some way that red dirt just seems to seep into your blood and you can’t get it out.’
Maverick X3 drivers have a once in a lifetime chance to join Toby Price on the Finke start line by booking a place on the Can-Am Adventure Tour today.