Revving Up For A Huge 2013 Australasian Safari
The 2013 Australasian Safari is gathering momentum as the 100 competitors and their 400-plus support crews, families, officials, medics and organizing team gather in Wanneroo to complete their final vehicle checks and paperwork.
Some are planning to win, some are dreaming of Dakar, others of overcoming personal challenges, and some are just aiming to make it over the finish line in Geraldton in eight days time.
On Friday, the Australasian Safari travels to the turquoise coast of Jurien Bay for the Prologue – a time trial on sandy beach tracks to test the vehicles and place the starting order for all 4x4s, bikes and quads for the first leg of the off-road endurance rally.
Competitors from the US, UK, South Africa, France, Romania, Czech Republic and Thailand, and Australia will battle it out over 3200km in the bush, the beaches and the tough and barren landscape of Western Australia’s Mid-West and Gascoyne regions, finishing on the Geraldton foreshore on Friday 27 September.
Nine moto riders and one auto team will be competing in the Dakar Challenge – a chance to win an entry in the 2014 Dakar, open to competitors who have not participated in Dakar and not been in a top ten finish of an FIM all-terrain rally.
Seasoned Safari competitors and past Safari winners, brothers Jake and Todd Smith from Mittagong, NSW are among favourites for the outright victory. They know the landscape, they understand the event and they will be racing at the front of the field. They are both riding in the GHR Honda Team again this year and competing in the same bike class.
Regular Safari competitor Matt Fish who competed in the 2013 Dakar and managed an incredible third place on Stage 2 will provide stiff competition to the Smith brothers along with Rod Faggotter who finished Dakar 14th outright in 2013.
Warren Strange who placed second in the 2012 Safari will be hoping to go one position better in 2013.
International rally champion Alister McRae has swapped his rally car for a KTM 500 bike to tackle Safari.
Safari’s first ever sidecar competitors, Max and Sam Hutchesson from South Australia are all hoping to reach the finish line.
The 2013 Australasian Safari runs from September 20 – 27 in Western Australia.