|Dakar Rally 2013: Rock slows Bruce Garland but second Isuzu on song.|
Rear end damage caused by hitting a rock has slowed the charge of veteran Australian offroad racer Bruce Garland in Isuzu Motorsports’ fourth tilt at the Dakar Rally. Garland and long-time co-driver Harry Suzuki called on teammates Adrian Di Lallo and Steve Riley for help with the problem, before limping out of the stage - and much slower result than they were hoping for.
Garland and Suzuki came in a disappointing 96th for the day, which dropped them four spots in the outright results, at 46th. Di Lallo and Riley were delayed 15 minutes helping the other crew and had a flat tyre, but otherwise had a steady day, coming home 72nd to be one place better than Day Four, in 51st.
"I slid wide on a corner and hit a big rock which broke some bolts on the rear right hub," Garland says. "We had to wait for Adrian and Steve because we didn’t have enough spare bolts to do the job. They then kept going while Harry and I did some of our bush engineering, but we could only limp out of the stage and we lost about an hour."
"It is a bit depressing. We haven’t had a trouble-free run yet, but I think I can solve the problem. You see, I can see most of the problems when I look in the mirror, so I’m going to get a new mirror!"
Earlier this week Garland felt he was driving rather cautiously, remembering the 2011 event when he crashed and fractured a vertebra. His back has fully recovered but he believed it was taking time for him to settle back into the rhythm of his usual driving style – and Stage Five was one that suited him perfectly.
"It was a good stage through river beds and gorges and finishing on some high speed dunes, very like what we have in the "Australasian Safari" Rally. The new car is working perfectly and we were going gangbusters and passing heaps of cars until this happened. Still, there’s a long way to go, and a lot more carnage today, and we are still going. While there’s life there’s hope!"
The other ‘competition’ member of the Australian Isuzu Motorsports team is service crewmember, Richie Hayes. He’s in a MAN truck, racing in the truck category with two Spanish drivers. They posted 46th fastest stage time of the 72 starters, to be 56th outright.
2013/01/10 | 14:17 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SWANTON