Thursday, January 10th, 2013 - Isuzu Motorsports, Garland Motorsports
DAKAR UPDATE: STAGE FOUR

The drivers’ briefing warned competitors that this would be a tough stage and the Australian-based Isuzu Motorsports team soon discovered they had not exaggerated.

But despite a long hard day, the two crews did not lose any ground or have any major mechanical issues – unlike several of the top competitors – and will be ready to go for Day Five.

After the 288km timed special stage from Nazca to the city of Arequipa, the last Dakar-stage finish on Peruvian soil, competitors then had 430km to travel to the bivouac at Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city.
 
Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki (2012 Isuzu D-MAX; car 330) posted 58th fastest time out of the 130 starters in the car class, which left them steady in 42nd outright. Teammates Adrian Di Lallo and Steve Riley (Red Earth Motorsport, Isuzu D-MAX; car 439) gained some ground, coming home in 54th, to be 52nd outright.

Best of the Aussies in the bike division today was Rod Faggotter (Yamaha) posting 13th fastest stage time of the 162 starters for the day to put him in 17th outright. Matt Fish (Husqvarna) is 24th, Ben Grabham (KTM) is 29th and Warren Strange (Honda) in 30th. Paul Smith (Honda) is 18th outright in the 33-strong quad bike field.

Tomorrow, the Dakar Rally field leaves Peru and crosses the border to Chile. They will travel 509km in total from Arequipa to Arica. First up is 284km of transport/liaison to the start of the 172km special stage; then there’s a 52km liaison section to the bivouac. The special stage is contested in the Andes and will take the vehicles from valley to valley, so the navigators will be working very hard.

Arica is a port city on the north coast of Chile, just 18km south of the border with Peru. Historically, it was a major silver mining and exporting hub, back to the days of the Spanish in the 1500s and the port was looted by many famous seamen including Francis Drake and William Dampier.

Arica is also known as one of the driest inhabited places on Earth, at least as measured by rainfall: the average annual figure is just 0.76 mm (0.03 inches)!  The city is also world-famous as a surfing destination.
    
Overall result after four stages:
1. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret – MINI ALL4 Racing: 9h 04m 29s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz – Demon Jefferies Buggy: 9h 09m 45s
3. Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz – Toyota HiLux: 9h 37m 51s
 
42. Garland/Suzuki – Isuzu D-MAX: 14h 54m 15s
52. Di Lallo/Riley – Isuzu D-MAX: 16h 27m 57s
*** Please note: Despite Dakar paperwork listing Harry Suzuki as Japanese, he is an Australian, having taken out citizenship in 2011.

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Liz Swanton
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Dakar Dunes, ISUZU team, DAKAR 2013

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