Today was a marathon stage. The course was 483.37kms, and 422.76kms of this is competitive stages, so there’s no easy transports, and competitors should be traveling a bit more cautiously today because they cannot afford to have any mechanical failures.
The only servicing on vehicles allowed is a 30-minute session in the Park Ferme at the end of the second competitive stage at the local “Footy“ oval in Leonora, Western Australia. Service crews can only provide bike covers, EZ Ups, enviro mats, fuel, air filters, oil & oil filters. All other tools have to be carried by the rider or driver. For autos, all the spares had to be carried in the car. “The limited servicing rule means that the mechanical skills of the drivers and riders are really tested.” says Clerk of Course Ron Rigby
My day was a bit of a bust and I have to find the guy that informed us there was a “jump” at Media Option 5 and educate him on the difference between a jump and a 6 inch mound…….. The old adage that “your first idea is always the best” came true as my trusty co-journo Mark Fattore from and I had originally decided to head to Media Option 4. We heard about the rumored “jump” and headed that way instead. As soon as we arrived we climbed from the Pajero and both asked where the jump was. After having it pointed out I yelled some expletives, some starting with “Mother” some beginning with “SON OF A……..”!
Thinking someone was pulling our leg with the info Mark and I hiked off into the sunrise for 30 minutes or so looking for the elusive jump. All to no avail. To ad insult to injury the first bikes wouldn’t be through for another hour and the first cars were 3 hours away.
Tentative results have come in and as it looks right now KTM’s Todd Smith holds just under a minute lead over teammate Ben Grabham who leads Rod Faggotter by almost 3 minutes. For all current results click this link: http://www.rallyresults.com.au/safari2010/default.asp
Michael Vroom went down hard and dislocated his shoulder pretty badly. Unfortunately it looks like he is done with this years Safari. Fan favorite and South African hope Graham Grant also DNF’d today’s leg when the 1983 BMW R80 GS he is riding had an electrical issue. Look for a video interview with him tomorrow. I put it off till then as by the time he got back to the village today it was dark and he and his crew were busy fixing the big Beemer!
All the bike riders are wearing their S4H stickers with pride and many of them have donated to the cause. For more information on that visit: http://www.maleyfoundation.com/
Jacob Smith is a big supporter of S4H, an event run by The Maley Foundation
Also, don’t forget to drop into my media partners if you just cant get enough at: http://www.bikesales.com.au/ or http://www.marathonrally.com/
For more pictures from today check them out here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mxmaley51/
and as always you can follow my Twit Twit Twitter @maley51 or even look for more Australasian Safari stuff on my face book: http://www.facebook.com/justin.maley
There is also video available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/AustralasianSafari