Monday, September 20th, 2010
Five-time Australasian Safari winner Bruce Garland is in second place after Day One of this year’s event.

Garland, navigator Harry Suzuki and their brand-new Isuzu D-MAX ute are running eight minutes behind V8 Supercar star Craig Lowndes (Holden Colorado), with circuit racer/tarmac rally driver Tony Quinn (Mitsubishi Pajero) a further three minutes back.

Today’s competition took competitors north-east from Southern Cross in the wheatbelt (where the Prologue to determine seeding order was run on Saturday) to the goldfields town of Leonora. Total distance was 579.34km, with three competitive stages totalling 356.79km.

Tomorrow (Monday, Leg Two) is 483.37km in total, of which 422.76km is competitive. The course starts and finishes in Leonora, and the title given by organisers – ‘Marathon Day’ – suggests just how tough it will be.

Competitors only find out which days are classified as ‘Marathon Day’ the night before. Aside from the distance involved, the regulations only allow the driver and co-driver/navigator to work on their vehicle at the end of the day – not service crew – and they can only use the tools and spares carried in the car.

As if that won’t be challenging enough, the service time is allowed is just 30 minutes, which will be particularly tough for any crews who need to do major work on their vehicles. While they’re hoping they won’t have any major problems, Garland and Suzuki have years of experience as ‘bush mechanics’.

The 2010 Australasian Safari kicked off in Perth on Friday night with a ceremonial before the crews headed out to Southern Cross for the Prologue and today’s start, 370km east of the WA capital on the road to Kalgoorlie. The cross-country rally finishes in the southern coastal town of Esperance next Saturday, September 25, after covering 3600km.

Garland and Suzuki were third outright last year – and first diesel – in their 2010 Dakar-spec D-MAX. More than half that ute was built using original Isuzu production parts and was instantly recognisable as a production Isuzu D-MAX.

The new ute is lighter, faster and better handling than its predecessor but still based around the D-MAX’s steel cab, chassis frame and 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine. Built by Garland and his team with the benefit of two years’ experience competing in the legendary Dakar Rally, it is much closer to standard than many other off-road racing vehicles.

Under the bonnet is a 3.0-litre turbo diesel Isuzu engine that has been tweaked to suit the purpose ahead. 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. It’s the 25th year of the Aussie endurance adventure, which was first run in 1985 as the Wynn’s Safari.

Garland first tackled the event in 1987. This year he is entered in Group A5.4, modified 4WD diesel (Group A5 is Unlimited 4WD Recreational Vehicles and CAMS Offroad Extreme 4WD Vehicles).

Contact Profile

Isuzu Motorsports

For more information on the team, please check the website:

For more information on the event, visit
Liz Swanton, Media Liaison – Isuzu MotorSports/Garland MotorSports
P: (612) 9771 1277
M: 0417 232 643


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



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