Off Road

Paul Weel, Toby Price team up for BITD, Baja Trophy Truck campaign

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Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

A pair of Aussies will cross the Pacific Ocean to take on North American deserts later this year. On Monday, Toby Price and Paul Weel announced they will run three major desert events in the continent: the Best In The Desert‘s Vegas to Reno on 10–13 August, SCORE International‘s Baja 400 on 13/14 September, and the legendary Baja 1000 on 15–20 November. The effort, under the Team Australia name, will see them compete in the Trophy Truck class in Weel’s Geiser Brothers truck.

“Very excited to be able to announce I’ll be driving with Paul Weel for Team Australia in Baja 400, Vegas to Reno and Baja 1000 this year,” Price posted on social media. “Weely has put a heap of work into setting up this program so I’m looking forward to getting over there to show everyone what the Aussies can do…”

Price is one of the biggest names in Australian off-road racing, winning the Dakar Rally‘s Bikes category in 2016 and 2019 and the Finke Desert Race seven times. He is the only person to win the latter’s overall in both the Bikes and Cars divisions. For his accomplishments, he received the Order of Australia in 2021.

While Price has predominantly been on dirt his whole life, Weel is a longtime veteran of pavement racing as he competed in the Supercars Championship from 1998 to 2008, though he enjoyed success in the Australian Stadium Off Road Championship before moving to Supercars. Serious injuries in a practice crash leading up to the 2008 Bathurst 1000 ended his driving career and he shifted towards focusing on his family business for the next decade.

In 2020, Weel made his racing return in the Boost Mobile Super Trucks (the Australian counterpart of the Stadium Super Trucks) as well as desert racing in Australia and America like the Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship and Best In The Desert. Weel acquired his trophy truck from Price for his rally raid adventures. He overcame mechanical issues to finish tenth in class in his Mint 400 début, while his maiden Finke start saw him place twelfth.

Price and Weel crossed paths in SST when they raced against each other at the 2021 Darwin and Townsville rounds. The three-race Townsville weekend saw Price win the first before Weel claimed the next two, and they finished 1–2 in Races #1 and #2.

While Weel has never raced in the Vegas to Reno nor SCORE, Price has dabbled in the latter since 2012. He has served as Trophy Truck co-driver to Jesse Jones and Bryce Menzies in various SCORE events like the San Felipe 250 and Baja 1000. In 2019, he joined forces with fellow Dakar star Nasser Al-Attiyah for the Baja 1000, where they piloted Jones’ truck to a second-place overall finish. Price entered the 2021 1000 in a Trophy Truck Spec for Thunderstruck Motorsports, but did not finish.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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