What an unexpected day today was – and just so typical of endurance rallying…. “It’s not over till it’s over!”
The day started with advice that after a controversial incident yesterday with some motorbikes and quads, the team received an 11 minute penalty, which changed their overall position to 2nd with one minute behind the now “lead” car.
After many unsuccessful discussions and meetings, the team started the day with a positive attitude that they would continue to race hard and efficiently – just as they had done all week and the day would bring what it would. (I like their approach!).
They started in 2nd place and quickly caught up with McShane. After that things went a little sidewise ….. they hit clouds of dust, got lost and off notes, and with the rain pouring down,they slipped off the road and got bogged. Steve used the Ute’s hydraulic jacking system but the mud would not let go… with the jacking system also getting bogged and “acting as an anchor”. 6 (wonderful) competitor cars stopped to try and help tow them out, but without success. Finally Bruce Garland stopped and managed to pull them out after 6 attempts. This whole episode took 55 minutes and with the poor conditions and weather, the officials cancelled this stage sometime after Steve and John had passed this point.
So as Steve and John drove to the finish line and waited in the queue of cars to go through the final point, soaking wet and muddy, they believed their race had ended. “We gave it a real good red hot go” and whatever the end, they knew they had had a brilliant week, had driven and navigated well, had prepared the car to perform at its best and worked smoothly as a team.
But as I said earlier, “it’s not over till it’s over” – so I should stop keeping you in suspense and give you the results – STEVE & JOHN CAME OVERALL 3RD!!
And there it is, the LAST Australasian Safari has finished. Our team had a great time competing, and as you can see, the camaraderie of the event is fantastic! Thank you to all of those teams that stopped to help them today.
So as the team pack up the muddy car (it must weigh a few kilos more), get out of their wet and muddy race suits, and prepare to party hard tonight – which they absolutely deserve – we bid you farewell.
Until the next great adventure…..