A Warrnambool driver competing in the challenging Finke Desert Race for the first time says he surpassed expectations.
Damien Nicol, with the help of Colac-based navigator, finished top-20 overall in the cars section on debut.
They crossed the line 15th overall and placed sixth in the trophy track class.
They were among three south-west teams in the top-20.
Father-and-son duo Ian and Shannon Rentsch and brothers Tyler and Max Owen also competed in the multi-terrain, two-day race's car section.
The Rentschs - six-time past winners - finished fourth overall and second in the pro-buggy class.
The Owens were fifth outright and third in the pro-buggy class.
Australian racing legend and Dakar Rally winner Toby Price - at home on a motorbike or rally car - took out overall honours in the car section.
Nicol said he and Percy qualified poorly in 56th but slowly worked their way up the field.
The race, which starts in Alice Springs and requires an overnight stop in Finke to give racers a reprieve from the mental and physical challenge, covers 229 kilometres each way with difficult terrain one of its draw-cards.
"It was a good challenge. The track itself is a pretty nasty track to race on," he said.
"It destroys a lot of cars. I think we might go back one day.
"I don't know when, it's a pretty expensive race. "
Nicol, who built his own car, and Percy completed the day one stretch in one hour and 57 minutes and day two in 1.55.
"We made it to Finke in 20th position and made it back home in 15th," he said.
"I was hoping for top-20 but I wasn't sure if I could get there because it's a bloody good field.
"There was a lot of dollars' worth of equipment we were up against.
"We run a fraction of a budget to most of the other teams so I was pretty happy to place where we did."
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