Australasian Safari: Leaders changed again – Craig Lowndes first in cars.
Wow folks, the Australians showed us what real racing is. Here in
Australia the results change every day – and gives everybody the chance
to win. Wednesday´s leg four of the Australasian Safari has been a day of
getting down to business for the cars with the gaps widening at the top of
The landscape changed again. The Rally traveled from the “gold miners
city” Coolgardie into the South in the village “Norseman”, which got it´s
name from a dead horse (no Joke). The landscape becomes greener again with
more trees, but also more stones and rocky hills near the finish.
The cars had to drive three stages during Coolgardie and Norseman, the
bikes were stopped after the second stage for security reasons. The route
was harder, more tricky and not as fast as in the days before, so the
participants especially had to take care for their machines.
The Australian V8-Series Star Craig Lowndes and his Codriver Kees Weel
“attacked” in the two hard stages Wednesday and claimed the lead with 19
minutes ahead of the field with their Holden Colorado (Isuzu D-Max with V8
A good day was had by Isuzu-Pioneer and Dakar-Veteran Bruce Garland and
Harry Suzuki in their Isuzu D-Max Diesel as they move up two places to
third fastest in the auto field, 32 minutes behind the leaders. “We are
happy with the results” Garland told, “but we a still far away from our
personal goal. You know, we would like to be the first winner with a
Diesel-car in this rally” he said with a smile. “But the car is working
great. It´s the first rally for the new Isuzu.”
Darren Green and Wayne Smith with their Nissan Patrol also had a strong
day, now in the second fastest position, also moving two places up the
field. Father and son team Des and Richard Harrington (Nissan Patrol) have
moved into fifth position. From 23 cars only 12 cars started in the race,
but some want to come back on Thursday.
In the Motos Category, one of the Leaders, Jacob Smith with his Honda,
retired Wednesday from the race after an accident. He was flown out with
the rescue helicopter to Kalgoorlie Hospital, was injured at his shoulder
but it looks like the accident sounds harder then it was.
It´s tighter now in the moto division, with the top four placings within
12 minutes of eachother. From 89 bikes only 40 Bikers are still in the
ranking. The Australian Ben Grabham is currently in the lead by almost
seven minutes ahead of Rod Faggotter, and nine minutes ahead of Todd
Smith. Mathew Fish is also riding within the tight pack.
The top international competitor is currently Swedish competitor Annie
Seel currently in 16th position of a field of 40.
Classifications for Stage 10 in regards to the moto category are under
review by the event organisers. This means that for now the start order
for Leg 5 is based on the classifications at the end of Stage 9.
Considered one of the world¹s great endurance events, the Australasian
Safari is travelling from Southern Cross in the wheatbelt through to the
historic Western Australian goldfields, desert, rugged bush and coastal
sand dunes, finishing at Esperance.