If you are a fan of desert racing, chances are you might have heard of the famous Tatts Finke Desert Race. If you are not familiar, this very unique motorsport competition comprises a two-day “there and back” challenge. Starting in Australia’s Northern Territory of Alice Springs, racers speed down a mostly straight 229-kilometer course finishing Day 1 in a small remote town of Finke. Reversing the course on Day 2, competitors return back to Alice Springs. It is a timed event.
Known for being one of the most difficult off-road courses in one of the most remote places in the world, the Tatts Finke Desert Race attracts global talent in multiple divisions across the truck, buggy, utv, and bikes categories. The race course closely traces sections of the Central Australia Railway which features many long high-speed straight sections zigzagging through the outback. Typical Tatts Finke Desert Race terrain consists of red dirt, sand, spinifex, mulga, and desert oaks.
Tatts Finke Desert Race: The Course
Encompassing about 229 km each way, the Tatts Finke Desert Race travels south through many properties. On the way down the course crosses the Finke River just north of Aputula (previously known as Finke township). Divided into five sections, the track allows race officials to report split times amongst competitors:
- Start/Finish Line to Deep Well (61 km)
- Deep Well to Rodinga (31 km)
- Rodinga to Bundooma (43 km)
- Bundooma to Mount Squires (45 km)
- Mount Squires to Finke (49 km)
To learn more about the race, visit Method Race Wheels’ special event coverage portal Finke Proven 2022.
One world-famous competitor is off-road racer and Dakar Champion Toby Price. An Australian superstar, Toby just won his eighth Tatts Finke Desert Race title for the June 2022 event in his #487 Red Bull Mitsubishi TSCO-built trophy truck. Price had won six times on a bike and now twice in a truck winning last year in 2021 for back-to-back victories.
Tatts Finke Desert Race: The Prologue
The event starts with the Prologue, which is an 8-kilometer short course to determine the competitors starting order. Toby was the Method Race Wheels “Outright Prologue Winner” for 2022, 2021, and 2019. The race was canceled in 2020 due to Covid.
Tatts Finke Desert Race: The Race
By winning the prologue, Toby Price and co-driver Jason Duncan earned the pole position to start first. They set a blistering record pace of 1-hour, 36-minutes, and 38-seconds from Alice Springs to Finke. This gave the Finke legend a 5-minute lead over the next competitor.
On the return back to Alice Springs, Price went into cruise control to avoid mechanical failures or crashing out. This would guarantee their top finish. Taking the victory and outright King Of The Desert title with an overall time of 3-hours, 21-minutes, and 46.2-seconds. This established a 2.89-minute margin over Aaron James (#93) in second place.
Toby Price enlisted the American off-road talent, Jason Duncan, as navigator. Duncan is known for his off-road racing shock tuning specialty company Suspension Development Group (SDG), co-driving for premier racer Luke McMillin, and general knowledge of trophy trucks. After teaming up and experiencing heartbreak in 2018 and 2019, the impressive Price and Duncan crossed the line quickest in 2022.
“We had a good run back this morning and are stoked,” Price said. “I did not push it hard at all. We did not do anything crazy. I have to thank my crew for all their efforts. “We had an excellent run yesterday. The hardest part is that you don’t know what is going on behind you. You push really hard, and the boys have done a great job with the truck… everything has turned out great.”
Tatts Finke Desert Race: The Truck
Toby Price’s Finke Desert Race trophy truck program, which is endorsed by Red Bull Racing, Can-Am, and Mitsubishi has been years in the making. The truck, revealed last year prior to the 2021 Finke Desert Race, was specially built by TSCO for competition in Australia. Conforming to Australian Spec TT guidelines, it weighs 5,000-pounds in full race trim and has 23-inches of travel in the front and 30-inches of travel in the rear with a wheelbase measuring at 121-inches and 92-inch track width.
Using only the best of the best equipment, Price’s truck is powered by an impressive Dougan’s Racing Engines 8-stack 6-liter Chevrolet-based engine pushing 750 horsepower and 600 pound-ft of torque. The engine mated to an Albin’s 6-speed paddle-shift gearbox. All that power pushes massive 40-inch BFGoodrich Tires, wrapped around race-proven Method Race Wheels 103 Race Series beadlock wheels. Hiding those huge tires is a one-of-a-kind body system designed to resemble a Mitsubishi Triton modeled, shaped, and manufactured by FiberwerX.
Additional truck features are highlighted by the SDG tuned Fox Shocks, Walker Industries carbon fiber interior panels and skids, Motec electronics paired with James Lin Motorsports wiring, and large Brembo Brakes.
Toby Price Road to Tatts Finke Desert Race
For all of us non-Aussie bogans, Toby Price has documented his entire 2022 Tatts Finked Desert Racing effort. Everything from the final race preparations, arrival to the event, the prologue, day 1, and day 2. There are five episodes in the Toby Price Road To Finke 2022 series.
Toby Price Road to Finke 2022 | Episode 1
Come behind the scenes as we prepare for the 2022 Finke Desert Race! TSCO Racing sent over Bryan to give us a hand preparing the Can-Am Maverick X3 & our Mitsubishi Motors Trophy Truck for the Red Centre. Watch closely and you might even catch a sneak peek of my new livery!
Toby Price Road to Finke 2022 | Episode 2
Join the Toby Price Motorsport Team as they get down and dirty in the Red Centre of Australia. In Episode 2, Toby reveals his 2022 Finke Desert Race livery and shakes down his Mitsubishi Motors Trophy Truck. I guess it is safe to say the team is ready to throw it down in Qualifying!
Toby Price | Prologue Winning Lap Onboard | Finke 2022
Ride onboard the #487 as I claim my third consecutive Pole Position at Finke alongside Jason Duncan.
Toby Price Road to Finke 2022 | Episode 3
Join the Toby Price Motorsport Team at the 2022 #Finke Desert Race as Toby & Navigator Jason Duncan take on the Prologue Track, chasing the #487‘s third consecutive Pole Position.
Toby Price Road to Finke 2022 | Episode 4
Leg 1 of the Finke Desert Race is done and dusted! Watch as Toby & Navigator Jason Duncan make it to Finke in record-breaking time!
Toby Price Road to Finke 2022 | Episode 5
Such a surreal feeling to have won my 8th Finke! It was an amazing effort by the Toby Price Motorsport Team. Stoked to have Duncan on the podium finally, he is a valuable part of the program! Thank you to TSCO Racing! They said they would build me a truck that would win Finke and now we’ve done it twice.
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