Saturday, September 25th, 2010 - Isuzu Motorsports
Just 86 kilometres of competition remain in the 2010 Australasian Safari, and five-time winner Bruce Garland goes into the final day on a mission.

Garland and navigator Harry Suzuki (Isuzu D-MAX) finished the 416km of Day Six in third place, maintaining position behind V8 Supercar driver Craig Lowndes and Kees Weel (V8 Holden Colorado) in first place and Darren Green and Wayne Smith (Nissan Patrol) in second.

The event travelled today from the outback, to the town of Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia, where racing ends tomorrow (Saturday), after a total distance of just over 3600km.

“Today was a fair sort of a day,” Garland says.

“We had a pretty good run in the first stage but we had three punctures in the second stage, and once you’ve done all your spares [the D-MAX carries three], you just have to drive really carefully.

“I keep hearing that the sand dunes we’ll be racing through tomorrow are nightmares, but sand dunes don’t worry us.

“We’ve had plenty of experience with them in the Dakar and the D-MAX is suited to that type of driving. It has more torque down low because it runs on diesel, which will help us in the sand.

“We’re certainly a bit further back than we would like to be, but it’s never over till it’s over, so we’ll just go out there and do the best we can – that’s all you can do.”

Leg Seven is made up of 86.38km of competitive stages and 95.33km of transport, for a total distance of 181.71km – the shortest day of a marathon event which began with a ceremonial start in Perth last Friday (September 17) and got underway in earnest from Southern Cross in the wheatbelt district 300km east of the capital last Sunday (September 19). An official podium finish will be held on the foreshore of Esperance around 5.30pm tomorrow (Australian eastern time).

Garland and Suzuki were third outright in the 2009 Safari – and first diesel – in their 2010 Dakar-spec D-MAX. The new ute is lighter, faster and better handling than its predecessor but still based around the D-MAX’s steel cab and chassis frame.

Under the bonnet is a 3.0-litre turbo diesel Isuzu engine that has been tweaked to race. It produces approximately 630Nm of maximum torque and around 192kW of peak power, or an increase of 75 and 60 per cent, respectively, on the standard Isuzu D-MAX engine.

More than 100 competitors – including 25 in the auto division – entered this year’s Safari. Just 19 cars started today – and 17 finished.

The Isuzu D-MAX is entered in Group A5.4, modified 4WD diesel (Group A5 is Unlimited 4WD Recreational Vehicles and CAMS Offroad Extreme 4WD Vehicles).

PIC CREDIT: OFFROAD IMAGES
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** For more information on the team, please check the website: www.isuzumotorsports.com

For more information on the event, visit www.australasiansafari.com.au

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Liz Swanton Media Liaison – Isuzu MotorSports/Garland MotorSports

P: (612) 9771 1277
M: 0417 232 643
W: www.Isuzumotorsports.com

Keywords

motor rally, Garland Motor Sport, Dakar Rally 2011, motor racing, Australian Dakar team

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