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With only days before the commencement of Australian Safari, the 100 plus world class competitors are beginning to arrive in Kununurra for Friday (August 24) morning's start outside the Council Chambers.

Former Dakar contender and world-renowned Australian rally rider David Schwarz has arrived in town to prepare for the 8:00am start of the 5500 kilometre journey to Perth.

As one of the favoured contenders for 2007 Australian Safari, the South Australian will headline the HSE Rental KTM Motorex Rally Team in the battle for the outright win on his KTM 690 Rally motor bike.

Schwarz last entered the Australian Safari in 2004, winning the 450cc class and finishing third outright.

“I’ve entered the Australian Safari four times before but this will be the first year that I’m going for the outright win,” he said.

“I see my toughest competition coming from Ben Grabham, who just won the Finke Desert Classic.  He has competed in a lot more recent competitions than I have, but I’m hoping my desert racing experience will give me an advantage.”

This year’s 20th Safari is promising to be one of the most competitive, with the new Western Australia location providing some of the best off-road terrain in the country for the 86 motor bikes and 23 cars.

Event director Justin Hunt is pleased with the support and enthusiasm the towns of WA have shown in the lead up to the event.

“Everyone has been fantastic,” Hunt said. “We will certainly be filling the towns with the 100 plus competitors, not to mention support crews and Safari officials as we make out night stops.

“We have worked closely with each shire to ensure everyone can make the most of this international event, which will be broadcast around the world.”

“It’s fantastic to see locals like John Gregory, from Kununurra, take this opportunity and ride in the event, in front of his home town.”

US competitors Casey McCoy and Jonah Street are expected to arrive on Wednesday, a day before the pre-event rally show.

The rally show, which will be held at the Country Club on Thursday from 5pm, will give locals the chance to come face-to-face with riders, drivers and their machines.
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