Toby Price has made history this morning by being the first Australian to win the world's toughest rally, the Dakar.
The factory Red Bull KTM rider from Newcastle NSW won the Motorcycle class with a 39 minute buffer over his Slovakian teammate, Sefan Svitko, in just his second attempt at the rally.
Price, who steadily built a handy lead over the first 12 stages of the Dakar Rally through Argentina and Bolivia, played it safe on the final 180km stage. A fourth-fastest time on the final stage was enough for him maintain his lead and take out the class victory.
“I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to think, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet – I’m just stoked to be here to finish and to finish first I never would have thought that would have come in my second year. Thank you for my family and friends and everyone back home in Australia for their support it has been amazing, it’s unreal,” Price said.
“To be the first Australian to win Dakar in all divisions is crazy, it’s insane. Two years ago I never would’ve thought I would be doing this, to finish is a win in itself but to be standing on the podium is unbelievable,” he said.
Price’s victory in the Motorcycle Class came where many more experienced competitors struggled. Only 60 percent of the rally's starters made it through to greet the finish line.
Peugeot took out the Car Class in their return to the Dakar with veteran driver Stephane Peterhansel (his 12th win from 23 Dakar attempts), but that wouldn’t be without issue for the French manufacturer.
Peugeot’s three car assault on the Dakar struck trouble early with Carlos Sainz withdrawing after a gearbox failure. While 9 time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb did hold the early lead, a roll over on Stage 8 relegated the Frenchman to ninth place in his first attempt at the Dakar.
Iveco triumphed in the Truck Class with Dutchman Gerard De Rooy taking out the win on his tenth attempt at the Dakar. Beating out 2015 winner Airat Mardeev from Russia with a lead of over an hour.
In the Quad Class, experienced Argentinian brothers Marcos and Alejandro Patronelli took out first and second for Yamaha in the Quad’s with an almost 2 hour lead over their nearest competitor. Marcos Patronelli claimed his third class victory with previous wins in 2009 and 2013.