Australia’s Geoff Olholm and Steve Riley were forced out of the Pharaons Rally during stage four with a gearbox issue halting their Coconut Resort Rally Raid machine in the tough dunes.

With the recovery vehicle not due until the morning, the Aussie duo spent the night with their survival kits and sand mats atop a mammoth 1km high sand dune in the Sahara.

The next two days of the Rally were spent on the assistance route, where adherence to the path was vital as land mines peppered the road side.

Despite the disappointing end to their rally, Geoff Olholm gained vital experience in the brutal desert dunes, guaranteed to put him in good stead for the Dakar Rally in Argentina in January. Steve Riley gained valuable knowledge of the intricate Rally Raid navigation procedures, as well as how to handle the soft sand, while chief mechanic Chris Stone gained some perhaps unwanted familiarity with the BMW gearbox.

The Aussie pairing arrive home next month, before setting sail to the greatest and most dangerous motorsport event in the world, the Dakar Rally.

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