DakarWorld Rally-Raid Championship

Toby Price, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing part ways

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Credit: Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

After a decade of success together, Toby Price‘s time with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing has come to an end. Price confirmed his departure on Tuesday, explaining the team opted not to renew his contract following the Dakar Rally in January. His focus for the rest of 2024 will be on the SCORE International World Desert Championship.

KTM initially gave him an extension in October, which theoretically would have kept him involved through at least the entire 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship. However, as the manufacturer undergoes reshuffling and budget cuts, the team did not register for the 2024 championship, making Price and team-mate Kevin Benavides ineligible to earn points.

In his final race with them at Dakar, Price finished fifth overall in the RallyGP category. While he did not win a stage, he scored three podium finishes with a third in Stage #5 and runner-ups at the Chrono Stage and on the final day. KTM did not appear at the next W2RC round in Abu Dhabi, though every RallyGP team save for Hero MotoSports sat out that round.

“I do feel like I’m still in my prime and going out there fighting for wins, especially at Dakar so it’s unfortunate to not have that opportunity to do it in 2025 but I’m really appreciative of the support they gave me in my career,” wrote Price. “We’ve been able to do something great things together like win two Dakars and get a couple podiums, a World Championship and our success in Australia too.”

After winning a stage and finishing third in his Dakar début in 2015, Price became a KTM factory rider the following year and immediately made an impact by winning the race. He added the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship (predecessor to the W2RC) in 2018 followed by a second Dakar victory a year later.

He came up just four points short of winning the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship to Luciano Benavides. After narrowly losing to Kevin at Dakar, Price took the points lead with a third at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. However, Luciano leapfrogged him by winning the penultimate Desafío Ruta 40 while Price struggled with mechanical issues and was relegated to eighth. Despite claiming the season-ending Rallye du Maroc, he was unable to pass the Husqvarna rider for the title.

With his time at KTM now over, Price’s focus shifts to Baja desert racing as he and Paul Weel split the #46 Trophy Truck in SCORE under the Team Australia banner; their co-driver Kellon Walch also has W2RC experience as the navigator for Mitch Guthrie. Abysmal luck plagued the group in 2023 with mechanical issues that forced them to retire from three of four events, and they finally reached the finish in the finale at the Baja 1000 with Larry Roeseler as their team-mate.

While the SCORE programme is not necessarily foreshadowing future rally raid plans, Price has expressed interest in racing a car in the discipline should an opportunity arise. Although his success on two wheels is obvious, he certainly knows his way around on four as well, having won the last three Finke Desert Races in a Mitsubishi Trophy Truck and boasting a race victory and six podiums in the Stadium Super Trucks. Price had lobbied to Mitsubishi to revive their Dakar Rally effort, but failed and chose to end his factory deal with them in October so that he would not be held back by obligations with them if another marque comes knocking.

The 2024 SCORE season begins Saturday with the San Felipe 250. Price and Weel won the pole at the 2023 edition but dropped out when their manifold absolute pressure sensor broke early on.

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