When Toby Khamsouk crosses the finish line the crowd may shout out his name but any racer knows that a rider is only as good as the team behind the scenes. In this case, racing is a family affair. Toby brings the riding skills while his father, Phet, keeps the bike running strong and his mother Vanessa is his biggest supporter.
Phet Khamsouk was born in Banh Hom, Laos, and fled across the Mekong into Thailand with his family as a toddler after the war. They ended up in, Banning, a small town in the California desert where Phet would grow up and meet his wife, Vanessa. Vanessa’s family had immigrated from Savannakhet a few years before she was born.
Phet graduated from Universal Technical Institute (UTI) with certifications in Automotive and Diesel engine technology. After working for Toyota and some other dealers he decided to open his own shop, Precision Auto Service in 2011. Their son Toby grew up in the family business and learned about cars and motorcycles from a young age.
Motor sports are a popular form of recreation in the deserts and mountains of rural California and Phet's racing with friends around Banning drew his son into the sport. Toby began riding for fun at the age of four and began racing competitively with Minimoto USA at the age of twelve. He entered a local competition in nearby Apple Valley in 2012 where he took first place. Over the next several years Toby’s racing career would blossom. His impressive list of accomplishments as an amateur ridder includes being the 2016 Yamaha R3 National Challenge Novice Champion, 2016 Formula 3 Wera West Champion, 2016 Formula 2 Novice Wera West Champion and winning the novice class of the 2016 Yamaha R3 Cup Final at the WERA Grand National Final.
Toby entered into competition as a pro in 2017 racing in the MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup series. In an incredible first season he secured four top-five finishes and took sixth overall in the series. As of 2021 Toby primarily competes in the MotoAmerica National Racing series. His many sponsors include Robem Engineering and his father's company Precision Auto Service. Toby was named one of Road Racing Worlds “Young Guns” in 2021 and ins considered one of the most promising young riders in the sport.
About this Article
Information for this article is from MotoAmerica, Aprilla, and the Khamsouk family. All photos are courtesy of the Khmsouk family.