Craig Lowndes untouchable in Safari

Speedcafe.com

Thursday 23rd September, 2010 - 9:26pm

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Craig Lowndes is nearly 45-minutes in the lead at the Australasian Safari

Lowndes is nearly 45-minutes in the lead at the Australasian Safari

V8 Supercar star Craig Lowndes has survived the toughest day of his introduction to off road racing during Leg 5 of the Australasian Safari in Western Australia.

Lowndes clipped a stump with the rear of his V8 Holden Colorado while attempting to pass a motorcycle competitor in the morning’s first stage, damaging the ute’s rear suspension.

Despite the damage, the three-time V8 Supercar Champion was still quickest through the stage by a whopping 12 minutes and stretched his lead in the seven day, 3,600km event.

Work the PWR Holden Rally Team crew at the midday service enabled Lowndes to complete the day’s second stage.

Lowndes and co-driver Kees Weel were again fastest through the stage despite blowing an exhaust gasket, giving them a lead of almost 45 minutes with just two days left in the gruelling event.

“We were trying to give the bike as much room as possible but I caught the rear on quite a substantial stump,” said Lowndes.

“It was pretty banged up but the team did a great job to get the Colorado as straight as possible during the service break and we got back out on the track.

“Then we blew an exhaust gasket and it was right under the pedal area, so that made it pretty hot on the feet, but we’ve survived another day.”

Darren Green and Wayne Smith retained their second fastest position, despite their Nissan Patrol also encountering a tree.

Safari veteran Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki had an early challenge on their hands when a drive shaft snapped in the first stage and they were forced to make a repair on the run, but they managed to hang on to third fastest position. 

“I just took the whole thing out and continued another 200km using 2WD,” Said Garland.

“We also had three punctures. 

“But we were back by the second stage and will be coming out strong tomorrow.”

Ben Grabham remains in control in the bike segment

Ben Grabham remains in control in the bike segment

Bathurst motocycle rider Ben Grabham finished Leg 5 of the Australasian Safari without a hitch, finishing ten minutes ahead of the pack.

Others weren’t so fortunate, with third fastest Rod Faggotter skinning a tree, and Matt Fish, in fourth fastest position, going over the top of his bike in another action-packed day totalling 411 competitive kilometres.

“I enjoyed the stages today, but even though we’ve finished pretty early this afternoon, it seems like a long day,” said Grabham.

“The bike is going well so I’ll just hope for a trouble-free day tomorrow.”

In the quads, Colin Lawson has had a great first stage on his Can Am Renegade 500, travelling fastest in the first stage 49 minutes ahead of John Maragozidis and 58 minutes in front of Paul Smith.

However, electrical problems in the second stage of the day added time back on.  Smith is still in fastest overall position.

Tomorrow is the penultimate day of Safari 2010 and competitors will ride south to the beautiful coastal town of Esperance, with sand dunes likely to be prominent as the event moves closer to the Southern Ocean.

Check out the video highlights

Here are the Video News highlights including Craig Lowndes interview


 

End of Leg 5 Results : Auto Division

1

Craig Lowndes / Kees Weel

Holden Colorado

25:44:41

2

Darren Green / Wayne Smith

Nissan Patrol

26:28:02

3

Bruce Garland / Harry Suzuki

Isuzu DMAX

27:07:23

4

Kerry Turley / Naomi Tillett

Nissan Patrol

27:45:36

5

Des Harrington / Richard Harrington

Nissan Patrol

28:06:00

6

 Neil Dunn / William Dunn

Nissan Patrol

28:29:09

7

Tony Flood / Tom van Kann

Mitsubishi Pajero

28:44:39

8

Adrian Di Lallo / Robert Masi

Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

31:44:54

9

Graeme Muldrew / Keith Earle

Mitsubishi Pajero

32:31:47

10

Peter Muir / Greg Walker

Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

34:29:45

 

End of Leg 5 Results : Moto Division

1

Ben Grabham

KTM 530 EXC

20:28:54

2

Todd Smith

KTM 530 EXC

20:40:17

3

Rod Faggotter

Yamaha WR450F

21:12:27

4

Matthew Fish

KTM 530 EXC

21:19:59

5

David Schwarz

Husaberg FE570

23:07:06

6

David Beavis

Honda CRF 450

23:23:07

7

Kenny Scott

Honda CRF 450

23:52:18

8

James Anthony Chittick

Honda CRF 450

24:37:43

9

Robert Lang

KTM 450EXC

24:54:01

10

Joshua Petrig

KTM 503 EXC

25:16:30

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