The Team Australia pairing of Paul Weel and Toby Price have completed the challenging Baja 400 in Mexico in overall fifth place over the weekend, as well as fifth in their class in a thrilling finish over the P6 getter.
The pair qualified in P8 in a massive field in-excess of 200 entrants, in their #46 2WD trophy truck, with Weel compelling the qualifying.
After a disappointing warm up in the Vegas to Reno, where the pair was derailed with electrical problems following a leak in the truck after a monsoon hit Vegas, the two had a point to prove competing against the best 2WD trophy trucks in the world.
“First race for me here, and for the team, so it’s great that an Australian team can come here and do pretty well,” said an exhausted Weel from his truck after the race.
“We’re in a great spot for the Baja 1000 in a few months. So thanks to everyone for putting the work in. I’m sure glad to have Pricey here with me going into the 1000, cause that guy sure can pedal.”
Price, an Australian endurance legend in both motorbikes and four wheelers, took the wheel for the first stretch of the Baja 400, and by the 250mile mark, Weel had taken control of the Quad Lock, to push Team Australia in P4.
At that point, the ex-Supercars driver sat behind Bryce Menzies, Luke McMillan, and Dan McMillan, who had all qualified ahead of Weel.
Weel’s eventual P5 was a fantastic effort, as the #10 local driver in Alan Ampudia poached P4 off him by just over three minutes.
Menzies would prove the eventual winner after controlling much of the race, with a finishing time of 07:59:26.916, and the only driver to break the eight hour mark, with Luke and Dan McMillan taking P2 and P3 respectively.
Weel and Price would finish with a time of 08:14:51.303, with Weel edging out Texan driver Mark Walser by just 0.410s.
The top nine overall finishers were all from the Trophy Truck category, with the P5 class finish topping off a great weekend for the pair.
“It was hard work, and we had a few crucial mistake sin that second stint,” Weel continued.
“it was a bit frustrating on my part, but Toby and Dale (co-driver) did a fantastic job from where they started, and I feel I let the team down a little, but also, we had a few issues with being able to see properly over the hills with the bonnet.
“We had a wrong turn and Ampudia got us, and unfortunately we copped his dust for the entire way in.
“but at the end of the day, we did finish, and that’s something we’ve not done in this truck, so it was a great effort by the whole team to get it to the finish line, so that feels really good. This is one of the hardest races in the world, it’s pretty tough out here.”
They now return home before heading back to Ensenada, Mexico for the gruelling Baja 1000 on November 15-20.