'Terrible news': Aussie desert race rocked by shocking tragedy

·3-min read
The Finke Desert Race, pictured here in the Northern Territory.
One person has died in an accident at the Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory, with a further two injured. Picture: Twitter

A spectator has died and two people have been injured at the Finke Desert Race near Alice Springs.

Northern Territory police confirmed the man died after being struck by a vehicle that left the track on Monday morning, 35km from the start/finish line.

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The man in his 60s was a spectator at the event and died at the scene.

Motorsport Australia confirmed on their Facebook page that Northern Territory Police are carrying out investigations at the scene of an incident on Monday.

A spokesperson for NT Health says a man and a woman, both in their 50s, were transported to Alice Springs Hospital and are in a stable condition.

The man was believed to be hit by a vehicle, while the woman was reportedly a navigator in a car.

A person is believed to have died during the Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory on Monday. Picture: AAP
A person is believed to have died during the Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory on Monday. Picture: AAP

Organisers of the race said the return leg of the bike category had been declared following an incident 35km down the track.

More information is to be released by police as it is confirmed.

According to the race website, the Finke Desert Race is an off-road multi-terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community.

Held annually on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June, it is one of the biggest annual sporting events in the Northern Territory.

The website say the race has the reputation of being one of the most difficult off-road courses in one of the most remote places in the world.

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Toby Price wins buggy category at Finke Desert Race

Renowned Paris-Dakar competitor Toby Price won the coveted 'King of the Desert' title after winning the buggy category for the first time.

Price, a six-time winner of the Finke Desert Race on bikes, became the first competitor to win in two different categories after he took out the 2021 race.

He set a new record for the race with a time of 1:39:15 alongside navigator Mark Dutton.

The victory marked redemption of sorts for Price, who led the race in 2018 and 2019 but failed to make it to the finish each time.

“I’m stoked,” Price told the NT News at the finish line. 

“Dutto did a great job and we are stoked to be here.

“The car has done an amazing job all weekend and we are looking forward to spraying some champagne on it.”

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