AUSTRALIAN SAFARI RALLY - Wednesday, August 28 DAY 4: Wentworth-Broken Hill, NSW Total distance: 630km. Competitive distance: 421km (4 stages) Garland & Caldecott Extend Leads In Australian Safari Rally Holden Jackaroo driver Bruce Garland...
AUSTRALIAN SAFARI RALLY - Wednesday, August 28
DAY 4: Wentworth-Broken Hill, NSW
Total distance: 630km. Competitive distance: 421km (4 stages)
Garland & Caldecott Extend Leads In Australian Safari Rally
Holden Jackaroo driver Bruce Garland and KTM motorcycle rider Andy Caldecott both extended their leads in the two major divisions of the Australian Safari in today's fourth stage of the international cross country rally through rural NSW.
Garland, a four-times Safari champion, holds first position in the Auto Division for four-wheel-drive vehicles with an overall time of 13-hrs 18-mins 45-secs. The 43-year-old Holden Rally Team spearhead has an advantage of 14-mins 55-secs over second-placed Steve Riley of Victoria in a Cashcard Mitsubishi Pajero at the halfway mark of the 4,375km Safari.
Garland, who led by 13-mins 12-secs overnight, said the allround capabilities of his Jackaroo in a variety of terrain and conditions was decisive in increasing his lead by a further 1-min 43-secs in today's 630km stage from Wentworth to Broken Hill.
"Today we came across a mixture of tumbleweeds and serious desert country, and the Jackaroo relishes those types of conditions," he said.
"Importantly we kept the navigation mistakes to a minimum, and our only problem was going over some man-made drains which made our vehicle twist and jump all over the place for a few seconds."
NSW's Peter Glennie is third in a Toyota Series RV, 16-mins 11-secs behind Garland, followed by Bruce Muir of the Northern Territory and Mildura's John Hederics, both driving Nissan Patrols. Victorian Andy Brown, who started the stage fourth, dropped back because of differential problems.
Another driver in the top 10 after three stages who slipped back was Victorian Reg Owen, who had wheel problems with his Nissan Patrol. Multiple Bathurst 1000 winner Peter Brock, who is suffering from a back injury sustained in a 'Legends Go-Kart' race in Darwin on Saturday evening, improved from 12th to 10th today in his production-based Jackaroo.
"My biggest problem is going over the rough stuff so I'm driving more conservatively than normal," said Brock. :Having said that we're winning our class and that's what we're here for."
Caldecott, from Keith in South Australia, is on target for a third successive Moto Division Safari victory, and leads with a time of 12-hrs 17-mins 23-secs. Adelaide's Andy Haydon is second on a KTM, 18-mins 9-secs behind Caldecott, followed by NSW's Paul Sinderberry on a Honda, South African Alfie Cox on a KTM, and Stephen Greenfield of Alice Springs on a Honda.
Haydon was fastest in today's stage, but dropped further behind Caldecott after being penalised 10-mins by Clerk of Course Bob Carpenter for failing to complete part of yesterday's 770km stage from Griffith to Wentworth. Sinderberry, Cox, and Greenfield received the same penalties as Haydon.
"The penalties to the others have given me some leeway, but I lost about 3-minutes today after misjudging some navigation arrows so I've got to stop those sorts of mistakes," said Caldecott. "There's no real pattern emerging yet, so I'm taking it one day at a time. Andy (Haydon) was on a mission today and made up some ground."
Haydon, who improved from third to second, said he hoped to mount a challenge for the lead in the second half of the event, which is promoted by global sports and marketing company Octagon.
"I had a good run out there because it was wide, open sandy tracks and that's what I like," said Haydon. "Looking back I'm disappointed at dropping so much time on the first day, and the penalty hasn't helped either."
The Safari continues tomorrow with a 571km stage from Broken Hill to White Cliffs.
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<pre> OVERALL POSITIONS (after Day 4 - Wednesday, August 28):
AUTO DIVISION: POS DRIVERS VEHICLE TIME 1. B. Garland-H. Suzuki (NSW) Holden Jackaroo 13:18.45 2. S. Riley-J. Doble (Vic) Mitsubishi Pajero 13:33.40 3. P. Glennie-P. Clark (NSW) Toyota Series RV 13:34.56 4. B. Muir-A. Muir (NT) Nissan Patrol 13:46.17 5. J. Hederics (Vic)-K. Weel (Qld) Nissan Patrol 13:54.59 6. H. Grove-D. Lowe (NSW) Suzuki Grand Vitara 14:14.48 7. W. Ridge-J. Ridge (NSW) Mitsubishi Pajero 14:15.09 8. R. Cremen-G. Comber (NSW) Mitsubishi Pajero 14:18.13 9. T. Conner-P. Conner (Vic) Nissan Utility 14:40.02 10. P. Brock (Vic)-W. Webster (NSW) Holden Jackaroo 15:04.52
MOTO DIVISION: POS RIDER MOTORCYCLE TIME 1. A. Caldecott (SA) KTM 660 Rallye 12:17.23 2. A. Haydon (SA) KTM 660 Rallye 12:35.32 2. P. Sinderberry (NSW) Honda XR650 12:36.51 4. A. Cox (Sth Africa) Red Bull KTM 660 Rallye 12:44.50 5. S. Greenfield (NT) Honda XR650 12:59.31 6. C. McCoy (U.S.) Honda XR650 13:26.15 7. P. Lundmark (Sweden) KTM Rallye Replica 13:27.52 8. T. Fitzhardinge (WA) KTM 660 Rallye 14:02.57 9. R. Runnalls (Vic) Suzuki DR-Z400 14:07.18 10. P. McDonald (Vic) Honda XR650 14:35.42