Final fling for Australasian Safari competitors
- 29th August 2008, 6:30pm
The brave riders and drivers who have already travelled over 3000 kilometres leave Geraldton at 6am tomorrow morning, and while they only have one competitive section remaining, everyone is well aware that the event isn’t over until they reach the finish at Forrest Place in the heart of the state’s capital.
Just a 75 competitive kilometre stage is left after today’s stages were cancelled due to the wet weather in the Mt Magnet area, and competitors will be eager to test their machinery one last time, and hopefully move up a place or two on the final day.
The last stage will be a challenge, and could provide a real sting in the tail. The sandy stage also includes water crossings, a monster hillclimb and sections of thick scrub.
In the motorbike division, it seems that only bad luck can stop Ben Grabham from taking consecutive Safari wins. The Honda rider holds an 18 minute lead over the Yahama of privateer Rod Faggotter.
In third place, Grabham’s brother, Damian, holds a handy advantage over fourth placed Warren Strange. However, Matt Fish, in fifth place, only trails strange by a minute, and will be going all out to move into the top four.
Having lead from the very first stage in Kalgoorlie last Saturday, Steve Riley should be able to protect his 27 minute lead in the auto division.
Riley’s battle weary Mitsubishi Pajero has dominated the event, but fellow Victorian privateer, Des Harrington, has also driven brilliantly in his Nissan Patrol, and is in second place.
The two Isuzus of Bruce Garland and ‘Pelle’ Wallentheim are in third and fourth places, with veteran Peter Glennie currently rounding out the top five in his Toyota Landcruiser.
After his arch-rival, and long-time leader, Vicus Vandeventer, crashed and broke his leg yesterday, John Maragozidis is on track to win the Quad category.
Riding a Polaris Outlaw, the South Australian has a lead of nearly three hours over Darrell Knight on a CAN AM Renegade.
When crews reach Perth at 1pm tomorrow afternoon, they will have covered over 4000 kilometres of some of the toughest, roughest, and most challenging roads Australia has to offer.
1. Ben Grabham (#1) Honda CRF450X, 22h46m19s
2. Rod Faggotter (#66) Yamaha WR 450 F, 23h04m57s
3. Damian Grabham (#4) Honda CRF450X, 23h14m38s
4. Warren Strange (#18) Honda CRF450X, 23h43m42s
5. Matt Fish (#3) KTM 530EXC, 23h44m59s
6. David Schwarz (#7) KTM 530EXC, 25h01m55s
1. Steve Riley / John Doble (#109) Mitsubishi Pajero, 24h34m18s
2. Des Harrington / Sue McCready (#108) Nissan Patrol, 24h51m48s
3. Bruce Garland / Harry Suzuki (#107) Isuzu D-MAX, 25h06m42s
4. ‘Pelle’ Wallentheim / ‘Olle’ Ohlsson (#110) Isuzu VehiCross, 25h16m48s
5. Peter Glennie / Peter Clark (#102) Toyota Landcruiser, 26h02m12s
1. John Maragozidis, Polaris Outlaw IRS, 29h30m18s
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