Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
The Isuzu D-MAX ute of Australian offroad racer Bruce Garland remains one of the top 20 contenders after Day Three of the 2011 Dakar Rally.

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 their progress over the last two days, and maintained that position yet again after a gruelling nine hours on the road. They’re also first in their class.

Last year’s winner, Carlos Sainz, continues to hold the lead in a factory backed VW while Isuzu Motorsports’ nearest rival – the factory backed BMW X3 of Stephan Schott (321) is now in 29th place outright.

Last night’s stage (Australian time) took competitors a total of 731km from San Miguel de Tucumán to San Salvador de Jujuy. Of that, the timed competitive (special) stage was 500km split into two parts (226km; 103km) plus a 231km transport section. The stage featured cliffs, canyons and river crossings followed by forest and thicker vegetation at higher altitude.

“The first 50 kays or so was like good old Australian bulldust and we got stuck behind someone in that, and a bit bogged down, and lost five or 10 minutes for starters,” says Garland.

“Later on, we climbed to about 3800m. It was stunning country, but bloody hard to breathe – for us and the car. They always struggle a bit at higher altitudes.

“Then the last 100km was more like a rally road and it was fun, but that first 50km was brutal and a bit of taste of what lies ahead when we get into the sand dunes in the Atacama desert.

“In all honesty, it wasn’t as good a day as we’d like. It was a very long day, and quite a tricky one. We had hoped to gain a place or two, but at least we haven’t fallen back. And the car is running well. The new Toyo tires are working really well too.”

The team is driving a new Dakar-spec Isuzu D-MAX ute that’s lighter, faster and better handling than their 2010 vehicle but still based around the D-MAX’s steel cab and chassis frame.

The crew has added a new race engine for this event that is another step up from the one used in the ute’s debut at last year’s Australasian Safari. That was a tweaked 3.0-litre turbo diesel Isuzu engine which produced 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. Garland says the new motor is providing a lot more top-end speed.

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   9h 12m 05s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk        VW Race Touareg   9h 15m 39s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel/J-P Cottret         BMW X3 CC           9h 16m 24s
4. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz       VW Race Touareg   9h 29m 02s
5. Kryzsztof Holowczyc/J-M Fortin            BMW X3 CC            9h 33m 54s

19. Bruce Garland/Harry Suzuki                Isuzu D-MAX           11h 07m 54s
29. Stephan Schott/Holm Schmidt             BMW X3 CC            11h 30m 47s

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** 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
phone: (+61 2) 9771 1277
mobile: 0417 232 643
email: [email protected]
Liz Swanton Media Liaison – Isuzu MotorSports/Garland MotorSports
P: (+61 2) 9771 1277
M: 0417 232 643


motor rally, Garland Motor Sport, Dakar Rally 2011, motor racing, Australians in Dakar team



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