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Holden V8 Supercar star Craig Lowndes is heading off road to compete in the upcoming 2010 Australasian Safari. Lowndes, a three-time V8 Supercar Champion and four-time Bathurst 1000 winner, will drive a specially-modified V8 Holden Colorado 4WD for the PWR Performance Products/Holden Rally Team in this year’s event.

Lowndes is teaming with the PWR/HRT team owner Kees Weel, a winner of past Australasian Safaris as both a co-driver and team owner. “The Australasian Safari is an event I have been wanting to take part in for years, so when the opportunity came up to drive the Colorado for Kees and the PWR/Holden Rally Team I jumped at it,” Lowndes said.

“This is the first time in my career for racing on anything other than bitumen, and the first time I’ll have raced with a passenger sitting alongside me, so it’s going to be a great experience.

“I have spoken to many people about the event and I am really excited. The PWR V8 Colorado is a potential winner, so it’s now up to me to utilise the speed and manage the terrain – I think we’ll do great.” Weel said he was confident Lowndes’ first foray off road would be a success.

“Craig hasn’t raced off-road before and the Australasian Safari’s a whole new ball game, but his list of achievements speaks for itself and we wouldn’t have signed him if we weren’t confident of Craig doing a tremendous job,” Weel said.

Australasian Safari Event Director, Justin Hunt said Lowndes’ participation was a coup for the event, which is in its 25th year. “Craig Lowndes is the most popular driver in Australian motorsport and we are delighted that he is contesting this year’s Australasian Safari with the PWR/Holden Rally Team,” Hunt said. “Craig’s participation will provide an increased media spotlight on this year’s event, which is shaping up to be the biggest yet in terms of competitors, sponsors and overall interest.”

The Australasian Safari is this country’s most grueling motorsport event, covering more than 3,500km of the Western Australian outback. The event begins on 17 September in Perth, finishing eight days later on 25 September. The course will be confirmed in coming weeks but promises to be a huge challenge for moto, auto and quad bike competitors as they travel through historic goldfields, remote desert and rugged bush.

Considered one of the world’s great endurance events, the Australasian Safari attracts international entries from countries including the USA, Brazil, China, South Africa, Japan, and New Zealand. The event is supported by the Western Australian Government with coverage of the event broadcast into WA’s key international tourism markets.

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