VODAFONE AUSTRALIAN SAFARI - Tuesday, August 22
DAY 3 REPORT: Curtin Springs-Alice Springs
Total distance: 562km. Competitive distance: 392km (3 stages)
HARRSION IN HOSPITAL - NICASTRI ROLLS NISSAN
Sydney motorcycle rider Derryn Harrison is in the Emergency Care unit in Alice Springs Hospital with internal injuries after crashing today in the Vodafone Australian Safari international cross-country rally in the Northern Territory.
The 33-year-old solicitor crashed his Honda XR400 on day three of the event after 62km of a 392km competitive course over three stages from Curtin Springs to Alice Springs. Soon after the accident he was treated by medical staff accompanying the Safari in a helicopter, and then transported by air to Alice Springs and admitted to hospital.
Harrison underwent a thorough examination and x-rays revealed no broken bones. However, he suffered lacerations to his spleen and kidneys, and internal bleeding, and will take no further part in the Safari. His partner, Donna Marshall, said it was expected he would be in Intensive Care for two days and remain hospitalised for about a week.
"The doctors want to keep a close watch on the bleeding, and they are hopeful it will stop by itself," she said.
Marshall, who had been travelling with the Safari, said she had been told by Harrison the crash happened when his vision had been clouded by dust.
"Apparently the dust was like a fog and he didn't see a caution on the map because he was going so fast," she said. "He thinks he hit a hole or gutter, and was thrown over the handlebars. The injuries happened when he was hit by the handlebars."
South Australian Andrew Caldecott extended his lead in the Moto Division of the event by a further 12-mins and 14-secs over second-placed Casey McCoy of the United States on a Honda XR400. Caldecott, the top seed, has led from the start and has an overall time of 12-hours 23-mins 58-secs.
"We had no problems today - basically it's been like that since the start so I couldn't be happier with the way things are going," said Caldecott.
Former 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz slipped out of the top 10 for the first time in the Safari. The 35-year-old Texan is now 11th on a Suzuki DZ-R400.
NSW's Ross Nicastri, who led the Auto Division after the second day, dropped back toward the rear of the field after rolling his Nissan Patrol after approximately 40km of today's first stage. Nicastri and navigator Steve Green were not injured, but did not complete any of today's stages. They managed to drive their damaged four-wheel-drive vehicle back to Alice Springs for repairs.
"We're hopeful of making all the necessary repairs overnight and getting back into the Safari tomorrow," said Nicastri. "The accident happened when the right-rear wheel clipped a concrete block, and we flipped over. Luckily it landed on it's wheels. If we can get going again we probably can't win so we'll be driving for a finish."
Nicastri said the list of damaged components on his vehicle included body panels, differential, shock absorbers, and rear brakes.
The NSW father-and son-combination of Terry and Michael Denham took the lead in this year's Safari for the first time with an overall time of 12-hrs 31-mins 35-secs in a Mitsubishi Pajero. They hold an advantage of 2-mins and 9-secs over defending champions Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki in a Holden Jackaroo.
The Denhams had been fifth at the end of the second day, after receiving a 40-minute penalty for being late for the start of a stage. However, the penalty was later dropped after it was found they had been provided with incorrect navigation information.
Tomorrow the competitors will follow a competitive course over 431km in three stages from Alice Springs to Wycliffe Well.
<pre> OVERALL POSITIONS (after Day 3 - Tuesday, August 22):
AUTO DIVISION: POS DRIVERS VEHICLE TIME 1. T. Denham (NSW)-M. Denham (NSW) Mitsubishi Pajero 12:31.35 2. B. Garland (NSW)-H. Suzuki (NSW) Holden Jackaroo 12:33.44 3. P. Glennie (NSW)-M. Roberts (NSW) Toyota Landcruiser 12:59.07 4. D. Harringon (Vic)-G. Taylor (NSW) Nissan Patrol Ute 13:19.15 5. P. Lockhart (Qld)-T. Donovan (Qld) Holden Jackaroo 13:44.18 6. G. Pfitzner (NSW)-J. Campbell (NSW) Nissan GQ 13:56.30 7. R. Gambino (NSW)-D. Lowe (NSW) Suzuki Grand Vitara 14:14.10 8. B. Danielson (NSW)-B. Nicholson (NSW) Range Rover 14:44.18 9. R. Emmins (Vic)-B. Humphrey (Vic) Jeep Grand Cherokee 14.48.28 10. B. Muir (NT)-A. Muir (NT) Nissan Patrol 15:05.56
MOTO DIVISION: POS RIDER MOTORCYCLE TIME 1. A. Caldecott (SA) KTM 660 Rallye 12:23.58 2. C. McCoy (U.S.) Honda XR400 13:08.12 3. T. Tervoert (SA) Husqvarna TE610E 13:27.52 4. R. Pollard (WA) KTM 640 Adventure 14:03.57 5. S. Blackney (GB) KTM 660 Rallye 14:10.03 6. G. Hoffman (NSW) KTM 620 14:29.57 7. A. Roberts (NT) Honda XR400 14:35.47 8. T. Kirby (NSW) Suzuki DR-Z400 14:43.45 9. D. Auricht (NT) Yamaha TTR250 15:08.54 10. C. Ross (NT) Honda XR650 15:19.11 11. K. Schwantz (U.S.) Suzuki DR-Z400 15:40.17