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Australian Safari: Team Rally PanAmerica after 3 days Racing in Australia

Teamreport: On the morning of the 4th day of the Australian Safari, Jonah and Casey from the US-Team Rally PanAmerica are feeling good and going strong. By this time, we can assume that they have come to terms with their new RMA Yamaha WR450 rally bikes. Both riders started well and finished the first day in the top 10, Jonah in 4th. Day 2 saw some glitches. Casey ran over a length of wire, which tangled badly into his rear wheel. It took him nearly 45 minutes to extricate himself. He finished Day 2 down to 28th position overall.

The Safari has surprised many of the competitors with very few navigation challenges. Some of the turns and major dangers are marked with arrows and ribbons, taking away much of the navigation skill expected in rally racing. And, the courses have been short, fast and smooth, which does not play to our more mature, tougher and wiser team's strengths. Jonah rode Day 2 conservatively and finished in 8th overall.

On Day 3, the team welcomed some more challenging terrain with sand and dunes, and some more difficult navigation. Former race leader Ben Grabham was caught out by one set of directions and lost the lead for his Honda team. Jonah and Casey did well, rising in the overall standings to 5th and 17th respectively. The teamĀ“s man on the scene, Robb McElroy said, "There was finally one bit of difficult navigation. Half the top guys missed it. Our guys, of course, nailed it and moved up significantly."

Day 4 of this 9-day event is about to start. The riders will race from Port Hedland to Newman, Western Australia. Jonah starts 3rd today, and Casey will be out of the gates 6th. We're hoping for an increasingly difficult rally, but we're happy in any event that our guys are getting valuable racing time in before the Dakar in January. The Australian Safari started on August 23 and crosses the desolate deserts of Western Australia until the finish on September 1 in Perth.

2007/08/28 | 12:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Team Rally PanAmerica

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