New Holden Rally Team to race in Australian Safari

Holden Announces Factory-Backed Rally Team Two-Car Jackaroo Team To Contest 2001 Australian Safari MONDAY, JULY 30: Holden's Jackaroo is going on Safari with the announcement and unveiling of the new Holden Rally Team in Sydney. Off-road champ...

Holden Announces Factory-Backed Rally Team
Two-Car Jackaroo Team To Contest 2001 Australian Safari

MONDAY, JULY 30: Holden's Jackaroo is going on Safari with the announcement and unveiling of the new Holden Rally Team in Sydney.

Off-road champ Bruce Garland and motor racing icon Peter Brock will drive in the factory-backed Holden Rally Team, with the pair lining up in two Jackaroos to compete in next month's Australian Safari.

The Australian Safari International Cross Country Rally is one of the world's toughest off-road endurance tests and consists of a gruelling 4,300km course over eight days throughout the Northern Territory.

Garland will compete for outright Auto Division honours driving a specially modified Jackaroo in the Unlimited four-wheel drive category, while Brock will compete with a standard Jackaroo V6 in the Showroom 4x4 category.

The Holden Rally Team livery features a variation of the striking "Holden Racing Red" theme seen on the current Holden Racing Team V8 Supercars which will ensure the Holden Jackaroos stand out in the tough desert conditions.

Holden's Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, Ross McKenzie, believes the new Holden Rally Team's participation in the Australian Safari gives Holden the opportunity to showcase the Jackaroo four wheel drive under the most rigorous conditions Australia offers.

"Holden is inherently Australian and there is a natural synergy in the Jackaroo competing in one of the world's toughest off-road endurance races," Ross McKenzie said. "After all, motor racing is the heart of Holden and with the formation of the Holden Rally Team we are aiming to emulate our success on the race track with success in the dirt."

"Jackaroo has a reputation for capability, having won the Australian Safari three times before. Our manufacturer involvement at this level underpins the confidence we have in Jackaroo as the vehicles are put through the extremes of the Australian outback over thousands of kilometres."

Garland, 42, is a three-time and defending champion of the Safari, having taken wins in 1996, 1999 and 2000 in a Jackaroo with co-driver Harry Suzuki. Ranked in the top 30 FIA professional rally drivers, Garland is Australia's most experienced off-road competitor and has raced successfully in many of the world's toughest off-road endurance rallies, as well as being involved in vehicle preparation for some of the sport's best teams.

Garland predicts a tough race ahead in defending his title, but believes the Holden Rally Team is well placed for that defence.

" I expect it will be pretty fierce out there this year." Garland said. "However, the strength of the Holden Rally Team is in its infrastructure and people -- areas we've concentrated on recently."

Brock's exploits for Holden on the race-track are legendary, although his off-road successes are also impressive. While his greatest off-road result came when he led home the famous 1-2-3 Holden Commodore victory in the 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial, Brock backed that with a win in class and second overall driving a Holden Jackaroo in the 1998 Playstation Round Australia Rally.

"This year I think the stability of the Holden-backed crew will be a key -- it brings a greater element of 'team' into play," said Brock. "The talents of the whole team will have a big bearing when you're relentlessly racing in these conditions for so long."

The Australian Safari begins with a prologue on the outskirts of Alice Springs on 18 August and the international cross-country rally runs from 19-26 August.

Holden Rally Team supporters will be able to follow the team's progress on the Holden web site, www.holden.com.au, with daily comment and review from Bruce Garland and Peter Brock. The site will also feature Holden Rally Team photography and a video gallery. Media can access Holden Media Online at http://media.holden.com.au.

NOTE: This year's Safari also includes a new rally class for lightweight four-wheel-drive vehicles, and cars, and the Moto Division, which is round three of the Federation Internationale Motocycliste (FIM) Cross Country Rallies World Cup series.

The Safari is being supported for the third successive year by the Northern Territory Government. It is owned and produced by Octagon Worldwide, the sports marketing and entertainment division of the Interpublic Group, one of the world's largest marketing and communications groups.

-HRT-

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers Peter Brock , Bruce Garland
Teams Holden Racing Team