Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
The Isuzu D-MAX ute of Australian offroad racer Bruce Garland has maintained position during Day Two of the 2011 Dakar Rally while a number of his rivals fell by the way.

Sydney-based Dakar veteran Garland and his long-time co-driver Harry Suzuki are carrying the number 322 (Car 22) but started the day 19th on the road, courtesy of yesterday’s result, and maintained that position after a full day of racing. It’s also first in class.

Last night’s stage (Australian time) took competitors a total of 764km from Córdoba, the second largest city in Argentina, to San Miguel de Tucumán. Of that, the timed competitive (special) stage was 324km, with a 114km transport section from Córdoba to the race start and a marathon 326km from the end of the timed section to the bivouac.

The Isuzu Motorsports duo now finds themselves in some illustrious company after the bad luck that befell some of the leaders.

The D-MAX is just shy of last year’s third placegetter Mark Miller from the VW factory team (43rd car home today; 16th outright), and just ahead of American racing star Robby Gordon and his Hummer (46th today; 21st outright). Their nearest rival – the factory backed BMW X3 of Stephan Schott (321) is now in 25th place outright.

“I think there was a fair bit of overdriving out there,” says Garland, who is maintaining his ‘slowly-slowly-catchee-monkey’ approach to the event.

“There was carnage. We saw two or three cars that had rolled and Robby Gordon stuck his Hummer way off the road. He’s into the bivouac now, but he was a long way back and I don’t know how much damage he’s done.

“The problem is there’s just no room for error or playing the hero but people seem to struggle to learn that. The roads are very narrow, with big drops off the side and big boulders on the edge so it is just too easy to damage the car – a lot of people certainly discovered that today!

“We actually had a good day. We could have gone faster but we didn’t. One reason was the conditions – lots of dust and lots of rain, narrow tracks, then undulating plains. It was a brand-new stage for the event.

“The other reason – the main reason – is that we’ve found a good pace that suits the car and suits us and we’ll just maintain that over the next few days. The underlying strategy, apart from obviously not wanting to damage the D-MAX, is make sure we are well ahead of the trucks.

“At the moment they are running a different course to us, but the field joins up again on Day Four or Five, and you want to be way ahead of them because if you get stuck somewhere, they can literally run right over the top of you.”

Garland says there’s still no official word from the event organisers as what might happen if Argentina and Chile are subject to more earthquakes. There have been several quakes over the last few days near the areas the rally is travelling through, but as yet no suggestion the route will be changed.

“None of us would feel anything if there are quakes along the way – we’re all getting plenty shaken up just driving as it is! The good thing for us is that we’re so far inland that we’re not at risk of any tsunamis. We just hope it stops – we feel sorry for the local people because they’ve been through so much.”

Today the field is camped at San Miguel de Tucumán, the fifth biggest city in Argentina. Founded in 1565, the city sits on the slopes of the Aconquila mountains and produces sugar cane, rice, fruit and tobacco. Tonight Australian time, the rally continues its run north towards San Salvador de Jujuy in the Andes foothills. This stage has been split into two competitive sections of 226km and 103km and features cliffs, canyons and river crossings followed by forest and thicker vegetation at higher altitude.

The 2011 Dakar Rally began with a ceremonial start in Buenos Aires on New Year’s Day and will close there with the podium celebration on January 16, after travelling a total of 9618km of which 5020km is timed competitive sections (13 stages). This is the third time the legendary endurance race has run in South America after terrorists forced the cancellation of the 2008 event in its traditional destination of Africa.

Garland and Suzuki’s best result was their first attempt in 2009: 11th outright, first ‘amateur’ (non-factory team), first diesel ute and first production chassis car. They were forced to withdraw at the end of Week One last year, after a freak incident in which a spare wheel dislodged and smashed the radiator.


1. Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Senra               VW Race Touareg      5h 30m 00s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel/J-P Cottret            BMW X3 CC              5h 33m 05s
3. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk           VW Race Touareg      5h 33m 19s
4. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz           VW Race Touareg     5h 40m 49s
5. Kryzsztof Holowczyc/J-M Fortin                BMW X3 CC              5h 46m 04s
16. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford                     VW Race Touareg     6h 26m 03s
19. Bruce Garland/Harry Suzuki                    Isuzu D-MAX            6h 28m 45s
21. Robby Gordon/Kellon Walch                   Hummer                    6h 36m 55s
25. Stephan Schott/Holm Schmidt                BMW X3 CC              6h 39m 49s

File Library

Contact Profile

Isuzu MotorSports/Garland MotorSports

** Follow the team’s progress on the website:
** Follow the rally on
** Australian fans can tune in to SBS (5.30pm) and Speed TV (8am; 6.30pm) for daily updates (check your local TV guides or for exact on-air times).
Liz Swanton Media Liaison – Isuzu MotorSports/Garland MotorSports
P: (+61 2) 9771 1277
M: 0417 232 643


Garland has maintained position during Day Two of the 2011 Dakar Rally



More Formats

View QR Code