Big field for final Australasian Safari
- 8th September 2014, 5:39am
Organisers of the Australasian Safari have released the preliminary entry list and are pleased to announce the tough navigational rally has attracted the largest number of competitors seen since moving to Western Australia in 2007.
The 127 motorsport competitors will depart from Wanneroo Showgrounds September 20, to take on seven days and 3,500kms of gruelling Western Australian outback terrain, in the ultimate endurance test of both man and machine.
This year’s event has one of the most diverse fields of vehicles - with a record number of side-by-side entrants, the inclusion of hybrid vehicles and everyday driven four-wheel drives joining the mix.
A number of factory backed teams from Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Jeep and Yamaha have entered.
The Moto category will feature four time Baja 1000 champion and 2011 Dakar Rookie of the Year, Quinn Cody (USA), as well last year’s Australasian Safari champion back to defend his title, Rodney Faggotter (AUS).
The Dakar Challenge category takes on an international flavour, with moto competitors Ian Blythe (USA), Ermanno Innocenti (IT), Cesare Zacchetti (IT), Matthew Bates (AUS) and Neil Orme (AUS), all vying to take home the coveted prize of free entry into the 2015 Dakar.
The Auto category has attracted some familiar Australian motorsport faces, with the likes of Targa Tasmania winner and Dubai 24-hour GT race winner, Tony Quinn and Australian Rally Championship couple, Simon and Margot Knowles. International auto teams from Slovenia, Spain and Thailand will join them.
Heath Young (AUS) and John Maragozidis (AUS) are back to battle it out in the Quad category, with John losing first place podium position to Heath by just over a minute last year.
There is a record breaking eight vehicles entered into the side-by-side category, a testament to the growing popularity of these vehicles for use in off-road events such as Safari and Dakar.
Jim Cairns (AUS) of Team Titan, is the first paraplegic to enter Safari, and will be piloting a specially fitted out SxS vehicle. Jim was a moto competitor on the first Wynns Safari in 1985, but on the event he was involved in an accident, resulting in his paraplegia.
The competitors and the 400 plus event crew will gather in Wanneroo to complete the final vehicle checks and formalities. Once leaving the metropolitan area, the event will travel to Geraldton, Murchison, Gascoyne Junction, Exmouth, Carnarvon, before finally reaching the finish line in Kalbarri on Saturday September 29.
The 2014 Australasian Safari will be the final event. Spectators are encouraged to take advantage of the last chance to celebrate and farewell this Australian motorsport icon at the Safari Show held at Wanneroo Showgrounds from 4pm Friday, September 19. This free family event hosted by the City of Wanneroo will give spectators the chance to experience the legendary Safari atmosphere, and see the competitors and their tough racing machines up close.
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