International off-road racing legend Toby Price will be the headline act in a 66-strong field for this weekend’s Albins ARB Goondiwindi 400, sanctioned by the AASA.
Price will compete in Class 6 aboard a Can-Am off-road machine and after being sidelined since February, the two-time Dakar Rally winner is pumped to be back in action.
“It’s been a very quiet time with COVID-19, so I’m really looking forward to having my first crack at the Gundy 400 this weekend,” Price said.
“Everyone has told me this is one of the events you have to do – the track is fast and wide-open and there are some melon-holes that are tricky to navigate.
“Learning the track will be a new experience but we’re excited to be here and take it on.”
While Price’s Can-Am is mostly standard, he has made a few modifications to ensure it can cope with the taxing demands of off-road competition.
“I put some stronger rear axles in it, a roll-cage and a spare tyre, but motor-wise it’s pretty much stock-standard,” he said.
The Goondiwindi 400 is renowned for being torturous on drivers and machines alike, and Price said finishing the event will be an achievement.
“I think the main thing is just finishing on Sunday,” Price said.
“Looking at the results last year, the attrition rate was extremely high, which shows the track is pretty gruelling. The key is to drive at a good pace while also being conservative – if we can do that, we should come out the other side in one piece.”
While Price has competed in some of the most prestigious international off-road events, he said he is looking forward to racing on home turf.
“I haven’t been able to do any event like this in Australia before – my schedule has always been jam-packed. With the situation we’re all going through at the moment, we’re very excited to get the race underway and get back into something we love doing.”
In order to compete in the Goondiwindi 400, Price was required to obtain his AASA competition licence, along with a log-book for his Can-Am vehicle. Despite the tight turnaround timeframe, the AASA’s efficient procedures enabled Price’s applications to be processed in less than a week.
“I had to get my AASA licence and log-book about six days ago; it was a very last-minute decision to come and do this,” he said.
“In September, I’m going to be heading over to Europe so this will be my last race in Australia for the rest of the year; I’m planning ahead for Dakar in 2021.”
The Goondiwindi 400 commences with the prologue and section 1 (one lap of the 80km circuit) tomorrow, followed by sections 2 and 3 (each two laps) on Sunday.