AUSTRALIAN SAFARI RALLY - Thursday, August 29
DAY 5: Broken Hill-White Cliffs, NSW
Total distance: 571km. Competitive distance: 384km (3 stages)
Garland Rolls Jackaroo -- Bike Stars Crash Out Of Australian Safari
Defending champion Bruce Garland retained the lead in the Auto Division of this year's Australian Safari despite rolling his works Holden Jackaroo on its side in today's fifth stage of the international cross country rally through rural NSW.
In the Moto Division, former Safari winners Andy Haydon and Stephen Greenfield were forced to withdraw from the 4,375km event after being injured in crashes.
Garland, a four-times champion, rolled his Jackaroo during the 571km stage between Broken Hill and White Cliffs. He was able to resume racing and completed the stage leading the event with an overall time of 18-hrs 5-mins 27-secs.
The 43-year-old Holden Rally Team leader began the stage with a lead 14-mins 55-secs over Victorian Steve Riley in a Cashcard Mitsubishi Pajero, but the incident resulted in Garland's lead being reduced by 1-min 41-secs.
After Garland rolled his Jackaroo the four-wheel-drive vehicle was pulled upright by Mildura's John Hederics, who is fifth in the Safari, and stopped his Nissan Patrol to assist.
"I lost time today, but it could have been worse if John (Hederics) hadn't stopped to help," said Garland. "The roll-over happened when I missed a call around a dam and came up to a corner too quick. I stopped on the edge of the cliff to a dry creek bed, and then the bank collapsed and the Jackaroo rolled on its side."
NSW's Peter Glennie remained third in a Toyota Series RV, followed by Bruce Muir of the Northern Territory in a Nissan Patrol. Terry Denham, runner-up in the 2000 Safari, retired from the eight-day rally because of continued overheating problems with his Mitsubishi Pajero. Another to withdraw was Howard Grove of NSW, whose Suzuki Grand Vitara had an engine failure when inside the top 10.
South Australian Andy Caldecott strengthened his grip on the motorcycle category, and leads with a time of 16-hrs 21-mins 26-secs on a KTM 660 Rallye. The two-times Safari champion started today's stage with a lead of 18-mins 9-secs over Haydon on a KTM, and finished with an advantage of 33-mins 43-secs over NSW's Paul Sinderberry, who is now second on a Honda XR650.
Haydon, Safari winner in 1997, suffered injuries to his left knee in a spectacular crash after 59km of the second timed competitive section. He was dicing with Caldecott at the time of the accident, and later withdrew because of pain.
"He (Haydon) had just passed me so I saw everything from behind," said Caldecott. "The bike went sideways on a bump, then it dug in and pitched him over the handlebars. We'd reached the point where people are trying hard to win, so the pressure was on."
"It's disappointing to see a couple of the top guys get hurt, and for sure I'm now changing my tactics. I've got nothing to gain by pushing too hard, but I've also got to stay competitive and consistent to keep the lead."
Greenfield was taken to Broken Hill Hospital by an NSW Ambulance Services vehicle after breaking an ankle when he crashed his Honda XR650 in the first timed competitive section. West Australia's Tim Fitzhardinge escaped injury when he crashed his KTM, and is seventh going into tomorrow's sixth stage from White Cliffs to Cobar over 677km.
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<pre> OVERALL POSITIONS (after Day 5 - Thursday, August 29):
AUTO DIVISION: POS DRIVERS VEHICLE TIME 1. B. Garland-H. Suzuki (NSW) Holden Jackaroo 18:05.27 2. S. Riley-J. Doble (Vic) Mitsubishi Pajero 18:18.41 3. P. Glennie-P. Clark (NSW) Toyota Series RV 18:19.40 4. B. Muir-A. Muir (NT) Nissan Patrol 18:30.30 5. J. Hederics (Vic)-K. Weel (Qld) Nissan Patrol 18:39.38 6. A. Brown-P. Styles (Vic) Holden Frontera 19:05.23 7. A. Stott-M. Davies (Vic) Nissan Patrol 19:15.44 8. R. Cremen-G. Comber (NSW) Mitsubishi Pajero 19:18.32 9. W. Ridge-J. Ridge (NSW) Mitsubishi Pajero 19:31.54 10. T. Conner-P. Conner (Vic) Nissan Utility 19:34.27
MOTO DIVISION: POS RIDER MOTORCYCLE TIME 1. A. Caldecott (SA) KTM 660 Rallye 16:21.26 2. P. Sinderberry (NSW) Honda XR650 16:55.09 3. A. Cox (Sth Africa) Red Bull KTM 660 Rallye 17:08.20 4. C. McCoy (U.S.) Honda XR650 17:55.02 5. P. Lundmark (Sweden) KTM Rallye Replica 17:56.36 6. R. Runnalls (Vic) Suzuki DR-Z400 18:58.34 7. T. Fitzhardinge (WA) KTM 660 Rallye 19:00.17 8. P. McDonald (Vic) Honda XR650 19:32.10 9. D. Schwarz (SA) Yamaha WR400 19:43.43 10. P. Baker (SA) Yamaha WR426 20:50.00
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