Australasian Safari: Series newsletter 2009-07-15

'Most Adventurous Driver' back for another Safari tilt Undaunted by her experiences in 2008, New Zealander Sarah Twaddle is again making the trip across the Tasman to tackle the Australasian Safari in 2009 for a second consecutive...

'Most Adventurous Driver' back for another Safari tilt

Undaunted by her experiences in 2008, New Zealander Sarah Twaddle is again making the trip across the Tasman to tackle the Australasian Safari in 2009 for a second consecutive year.

Twaddle finished 13th outright in the 2008 event, and is looking for a top ten finish when the gruelling seven-day, 3600 kilometre marathon starts in the Western Australian capital of Perth on August 1.

The Kiwi endurance driver was the first female driver home last year, took the Production class honours, and won the BF Goodrich award for ‘Most Adventurous Driver' for her incredible efforts.

The 26-year old company secretary knows what challenges lie ahead, but the experience from competing in 2008 has made her stronger, and more motivated.

"Last year I learned that if I put my mind and heart into it, I can do anything," Twaddle said.

Twaddle will drive the same 1999 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution that she entered last year but will have a new co-driver alongside, with Ian Austin calling the instructions from the left hand seat.

"This year I'm more prepared," she said. "I now understand a lot more about the Pajero Evo, and my body knows what it's going to go through over the week of competing in the event.

"Knowing how to deal with the fatigue and dehydration from driving in Western Australia's rugged outback is a vital key to performing well."

Twaddle's preparation for this year's Australasian Safari has included competing in the Condo 750 event, with her father, Brent, as navigator.

"We had gearbox troubles, missed a stage and were declared as non finishers, but it was good to get back behind the wheel again."

While getting to the finish line is the first priority, Twaddle is also keen to publicise and promote the event in her home country of New Zealand, where the Safari is not as well known.

"I'm here trying to get more Kiwis over to compete in this great event, but this is hard when not many people have heard about the Safari back home. It's one of the last great adventures, and I'd love to see more Kiwis heading across the Tasman to take on the challenge."

This year's Australasian Safari begins in the Western Australian capital, Perth, with a prologue on Saturday, August 1. The event proper starts the following day.

-credit: australasiansafari.com.au

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Series Cross-Country Rally