One of Australia’s fastest couples, rally duo Simon and Margot Knowles, have swapped their Mitsubishi EVO for a Challenger in preparation to take on the Australasian Safari in September.
Competing in a rally raid event like Safari is a change for the Queensland couple, who have many Australian Rally Championship (ARC) class wins to their name.
Navigator Margot said after six years competing in the ARC, she was looking forward to the challenge of doing something different this year.
“I’ve co-driven in off-road events for a number of years and they are great racing, but with no navigation,” said Margot.
“Safari provides the ideal fit for rally people to cross over into a different discipline, whilst still being a familiar style of event.”
“Our dream is definitely to do the Dakar – and Safari provides the opportunity to experience that type of event without the massive budget the Dakar would demand.”
Whilst the duo are strangers to rally raid, their Mitsubishi Challenger isn’t. The vehicle has been used for two previous Safari’s, finishing tenth outright under the driving of Gerald Schofield in the 2012 event.
They put the Otech Lubricants sponsored Challenger through its paces at the recent Condo 750 in New South Wales, and whilst they weren’t happy with the suspension set-up, still managed to place second in their class.
The couple are looking forward to coming over to Western Australia for Safari, having been to the state previously for motorsport events and vacations.
“We definitely have a soft spot for WA! Many moons ago we honeymooned in Broome and drove from Broome to Darwin,” said Margot.
“We’ve found the vibe at the Western Australian stages of the ARC fantastic, and the locals are very welcoming.”
“Can’t wait to see what the Safari holds both terrain and scenery wise.”
The Western Australian Government supports the Australasian Safari through Eventscorp, a division of Tourism WA.
The Australasian Safari starts with a family friendly Safari Show in Perth on the 19th of September. Competitors then embark on seven days of endurance racing throughout the outback of Western Australia, crossing the finish line on the 27th of September.
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