Looking for a novel I read as a child (probably during the 70s). I don't recall how the three main protagonists ended up involved in a brutal race on some planet, or what the prize was - however they were alien to each other, one was human, one communicated with squirts of flavoured liquid. I believe the ending is where (after each alien returns home) one has their mind transferred into a body that allows them to reunite with the other.
The race was on a different planet than the home planets of the main characters. The third one I don't recall - may be reptilian? The race resulted in death unless you won, and I seem to recall that cooperation between competitors was unheard of.