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Volkswagen’s ‘uber ute’, the Amarok, will be put to the test by Australia’s toughest off-road motorsport challenge, the Australasian Safari, next week.  It’s the first time an Amarok has been entered in the extreme seven-day event.

Melbourne property developer Sam Beck and co-driver Chris Kenny are tackling their first Australasian Safari in a new Amarok, making only a few adjustments to help tackle the harsh conditions for which Safari is renowned.

“We’re down to the wire getting the car ready,” said Sam. “We’ve put in a roll cage and changed the suspension, but the engine and drivelines are the same.”

After a recent test run Sam is more than happy with his vehicle’s performance, claiming it to be the best off-road vehicle he had driven.  “I was extremely impressed by the Amarok, I love it. It’s beautiful to handle off-road.”

Sam comes with a strong background in rallying, having previously run the Dutton Rally for ten years. He said he entered in Safari with his best mate Chris to continue exploring Australia.

“Chris and I spent a year driving around Australia, and instead of doing another four wheel drive trip I suggested we do a race.

“I believe we’re prepared for Safari. I’ve spoken to past competitors and Event Director Justin Hunt, so we’ve got a pretty good idea of what it involves.

“Hopefully we’ve built a car that’s tough enough to take it on!”

Amarok has been the official car for the  infamous Dakar rally from 2010 to 2012.  The car has successfully pushed through the 14-day 9000km event through deserts, mountains, canyons and an extreme range of climates.

Now in its 27th year, the Australasian Safari runs from 21 to 29 September 2012. This year the event is taking a new coastal route in Western Australia, travelling from Perth north to Geraldton, up the coast to tropical Carnarvon - the southern gateway to the Ningaloo World Heritage Area - and inland through the Gascoyne region, skirting around the Kennedy Ranges before heading south again to finish in Geraldton.
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