Herridge on Safari in the Forester
- 7th October 2013, 2:59pm
Contested in the West Australian bush, this years Safari included a mixture of challenges for crews; rocky outcrops, fast dirt tracks, overgrown scrub, rocky beach runs, river crossings and dry creek beds.
After completing the Prologue 11th of the 30-strong Auto field, the MMS Subaru Forester once again showed that its rugged, yet light-weight, construction and nimble handling are more than suited to the Safari. Robert and co-driver Sam Hill began to climb through the field, sitting in third by the end of Leg 3.
"Although not common in these 'Dakar-style' events, the Forester is really in its element. After winning the Safari Production class for the last two years, This year we competed in the outright class against much larger capacity Pajeros, Patrols, Colorados and Hummers," commented Robert Herridge.
“Starting the second-last leg, I was hoping to hold onto third position with our six minute lead. But we got a puncture in the first stage and four kilometres from the end of it we broke the front lower arm, making the drive shaft pull out the gearbox and we lost a lot of oil. We did some makeshift repairs; we pushed the arm back into the gearbox and held it with a strap and it made it four kilometres into the Hamelin service where our crew was able to make the repairs and we kept going."
"With only three short stages remaining, we simply ran out of time to regain third. We've had great success here, so it was a bit disappointing to lose third place. But we’re really happy to have completed the event, and it just goes to show that our second place finish last year was no fluke. The Forester can compete head-to-head against the larger Dakar-type trucks and be extremely competitive."
Australasian Safari 2013 - Auto Results:
1 – Olholm/Trigg Toyota Hilux – Dakar 22:32:11
2 – MxShane/Hayes Toyota Hilux – Offroad Buggy 23:07:55 + 35:44
3 – Travis/Travis Isuzu Vehicross 23:58:27 + 1:26:16
4 – Herridge/Hill Subaru Forester XT 24:15:07 + 1:42:56
5 – Jerie/Watman Isuzu D-Max 24:57:43 + 2:25:32
6 – Owen/Cairns Nissan Patrol 25:46:46 + 3:14:35
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