Getty Images

Friends rally to Toby Price’s side; seizure may have led to wicked crash in Dakar Rally

Leave a comment

Toby Price isn’t just a great off-road motorcycle racer, he’s also a great guy.

That’s very clear with the support and outreach given to Price after he broke a femur while competing in Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally last week.

Even though the injury eliminated Price from the remainder of the Rally, his multitude of friends has been rallying – no pun intended – to support him and to keep his spirits up.

Friends like Australian countryman and Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo:

Fellow rider Sam Sunderland, who led going into Stage 7 and is one of the favorites to win the Rally’s off-road motorcycle championship, also gave cheers to Price on Instagram after visiting his friend in the hospital.

Price himself took to social media to give fans an extensive recap of how he sustained the injury and the early stages of his recovery. He even included an x-ray of his broken femur – which is broken in four places!

Price wasn’t the only one that was hurt. So, too, was his bike:

The injury occurred during Stage 4 of the Rally between San Salvador Du Jujuy and Tupiza in Bolivia. Price has been treated since last Wednesday’s accident at La Paz Hospital, where he was airlifted to after the crash.

Here’s part of what Price wrote on his website:

“All I can remember is hitting something hard; it was in a river bed, and I’m sure as anything it would have been a rock. The last bit I remember is being face down into the ground after flying through the air and seeing the rocks go under me pretty quick. I landed and pretty much was just in a daze for a while!

“This is only a small hurdler in the road as a broken leg, so we will go again and it’ll be all good.”

One big surprise was Price’s forthcoming that a blood clot in his lung may have caused a seizure that may have led to his crash.

“I suffered a seizure which has rocked me a little bit, but the specialist is working hard to target the trigger to this and they are suspecting this was due to a blood clot in my lung.”

Plans call for Price to return to his native Australia in the coming days, where he’ll receive further treatment and begin a lengthy rehab to fix his leg.

Price realizes he has a long road ahead of him to full recovery — but is optimistic that he can be good as new in just a few months.

“It’s going to be a long road back to 100 percent but one thing for sure is, I know I need to be back on the KTM motorcycle in four months, so I will be doing all I can to make this happen.”

Click here for Price’s full post on his website about what happened.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
3 Comments

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.