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Injury forces Price into Cars-only Finke campaign

Speedcafe.com

Wednesday 7th June, 2017 - 11:58am

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Toby Price during the 2016 Finke pic: NT Event Photography

Toby Price will not defend his Bikes titles in this year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in the Dakar Rally.

The five-time Bike winner of the Finke had targeted the 2017 edition for his competitive motorcycle return after badly breaking his left leg in South America in January.

However, Price will make a second campaign in Cars after finishing second on debut in 2016, entering the Extreme 2-Wheel Drive class in the #487 Geiser Trophy Truck Chev 6000cc machine.

Also in Cars, Glenn Owen/Mathew Ryan (Jimco Buggy) will seek to defend their title in a field which includes previous Finke winners Hayden Bentley, Greg Gartner, Brad Gallard, Shannon Rentsch and David Fellows.

American off-road star Harley Letner will make his debut in the Finke in Cars.

A two-time Baja 500 winner, Letner is currently undefeated in the 2017 US Best of the Desert Series.

In Bikes, Todd Smith is the only current rider in the field to have interrupted Price’s recent run of victories, winning the Finke in 2013.

Todd Smith and brother Jacob are set to be Honda’s main contenders, while 2016 Baja 1000 winner Daymon Stokie and Josh Green will likely lead the Yamaha charge.

Alice Springs rider David Walsh is the highest-placed finisher of the 2016 edition to return to the Bikes field, onboard his KTM.

The Tatts Finke Desert Race, which takes a gruelling 452km route from Alice Springs to Finke and back again, is also the second round of the CAMS Australian Off Road Championship.

This year marks the 42nd edition of the Finke, which will be held from June 9-12.

2016 Tatts Finke Desert Race Results

Bikes (Top 3)
1 Toby Price KTM
2 Tye Simmonds KTM
3 David Walsh KTM
Cars (Top 3)
1 Glenn Owen/Mathew Ryan Jimco Buggy
2 Toby Price/Kyle Pfiitzner Trophy Truck
3 Beau Robinson/Stephen Ketteridge-Hall Trophy Truck

2017 Tatts Finke Desert Race Schedule

Saturday June 10 08:00 Prologue: Cars commences
12:30 Prologue: Bikes commences
Sunday June 11 07:15 Cars depart Alice Springs
11:30 Bikes depart Alice Springs
Monday June 12 07:15 Cars depart Finke
11:45 Bikes depart Finke

 

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