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Losing their rear brakes only had a minimal impact in real terms on the leading Australian Isuzu Motorsports’ crew on the third day of the 2013 Dakar Rally, as they started to move their way forward in the field.

After a 243km timed special stage from Pisco to Nazca, south of Lima, Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki (2012 Isuzu D-MAX; car 330) posted 37th fastest time out of the 139 starters, putting them in 42nd outright.

Teammates Adrian Di Lallo and Steve Riley (Red Earth Motorsport, Isuzu D-MAX; car 439) had a faultless run to come home in 52nd, putting them in 61st outright.

“The sway bar link broke and tore the brake line off quite early on in the stage, so they just bled dry, so we really only had a tiny bit of braking at the front,” says Garland.

“We also had to stop a couple of times to let the tyres down because we were getting stuck, but the major drama was not having any rear brakes for about 200km – we had to slow right down.

“It was a shame because there were some lovely sand dunes at the beginning with lots of bulldust between them, a really good mix of conditions. Then we came down off this huge drop-off down to the beach and we were racing on the beach for a while which was quite spectacular. But the drop off was nearly a sheer drop, so it was a bit daunting coming down there fast with almost no brakes!

“Tomorrow they’re saying it will be quite hard. Given they told us that yesterday’s stage would be easy and it wasn’t, you have to wonder how tough it will be when they say it is going to be tough! But I’m feeling a lot more confident in the dunes and the car is going well, so we’ll just take it as it comes.”

There were no such dramas for the second car. The mechanical issues that had slowed them down on Day Two seemed to have been well-sorted by the team and the crew had a trouble-free day.

“Even though we started way down the order, we just calmly picked our way through the field,” says Adrian Di Lallo.

“The D-MAX was great and we are finding our rhythm so fingers crossed for the same tomorrow.”

The other ‘competition’ member of the team is service crewmember Richie Hayes. He’s in a MAN truck, racing in the truck category with two Spanish drivers. They posted 59th fastest time of the 75 starters (no overall result through at time of writing).

Tomorrow, the Dakar field will leave Nazca for a 288km timed special stage and a massive 429km of liaison before the overnight bivouac at Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city.

Situated at an altitude of 2328m and nestled in the shadow of the Andes Mountains, Arequipa’s historic centre is a world cultural heritage site that makes it a very popular tourist destination.

Overall result after three stages:

1. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret – MINI ALL4 Racing: 5h 34m 26s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz – Demon Jefferies Buggy: 5h 40m 59s
3. Lucio Alvarez/Bernardo Graue – Toyota HiLux: 5h 52m 37s
42. Garland/Suzuki – Isuzu D-MAX: 8h 21m 18s
61. Di Lallo/Riley – Isuzu D-MAX: 10h 01m 12s

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