Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 - Garland’s Isuzu Motorsports
The Isuzu Motorsports team of Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki is set for a start in the 2012 Australasian Safari.

The 27th running of the Safari begins with a ceremonial presentation in the West Australian capital city of Perth, beginning around 9pm tonight, Sydney time.

Competitors and officials then trek 425km north tomorrow morning, to the mid-west coastal city of Geraldton for a 24km Prologue (time trial) to determine starting order for the first full day of competition on Sunday. This is being run at the historic private property, Glengarry Station, which is around 20km east of Geraldton.

“It’s actually raining in Perth at the moment, which everyone is grumbling about, but we’re hoping it stays that way!†Garland says.

“The wetter the better for us, because diesel engines kick arse in the mud, and our gun Toyo Tires love those conditions too.â€

Garland and the Isuzu Motorsports crew gave the 2013 Dakar-spec Isuzu D-Max a final shakedown on the drive over from Sydney and everything is working perfectly.

“Everything is going to plan so far. We’ll just have to see what the weather and the track have to offer – and the competition too. There are some very good drivers in the field including John Hederics, Des Harrington and Geoff Olholm. And there are some internationals too, who are a bit of a mystery for now but may prove to be hard to beat once we’re out there – we’ll just have to wait and see how it all ends up next weekend.â€

The Sydney-based offroad champion is making his 16th start at the Safari after an enforced lay-off of more than a year, the result of fracturing a vertebra during the 2011 Dakar Rally, and then having a heart attack while on holiday two months later. He had five bypasses done by the specialist team at Melbourne’s MonashHeart.

He and long-term co-driver Harry Suzuki are tackling the Safari in preparation for the 2013 Dakar, which will run through Chile, Argentina and Peru next January. The pair’s best result in the Safari of recent years was third outright in 2010 – and first diesel home.

Sunday’s route includes three competitive stages from Geraldton north to Kalbarri, while on Monday, entrants travel from Kalbarri to Carnarvon (Leg Two). Tuesday (Leg 3) takes them from Carnarvon to the start of the Ningaloo Reef and Wednesday (Leg 4) from Carnarvon, inland to Gascoyne Junction and the Kennedy Ranges. Thursday sees a looped course around the Ranges and finishing overnight again in Gascoyne Junction while Friday (Leg 6) takes the field south again to Kalbarri, before Saturday’s final leg into Geraldton and the big finish.

Further details on the course cannot be revealed as competitors are not provided with road books and navigation maps until the night before each day’s racing.

NB: The weather report suggests Geraldton will be fine on Sunday and Monday, but showers are possible for the northwest for Tuesday through Thursday next week.

** For more information on the team, please check the website (http://www.isuzumotorsports.com) or follow them on facebook () or twitter (twitter.com/ISUZUmotorsport).

Contact Profile

Liz Swanton - Media Liaison Isuzu Motorsports / Garland Motorsports

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W: www.isuzumotorsports.com

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The Isuzu Motorsports team of Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki is set for a start in the 2012 Australasian Safari.

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