Isuzu Dominates the Australian Outback
CERRITOS, Calif., Sept. 7 Isuzu dominated the 2001
Australian Safari, an international cross-country rally that ended
August 26 after eight grueling days in the Outback. The Isuzu Trooper and its
Australian counterpart, the Holden Jackaroo, claimed four of the top ten spots
in the overall automotive division, including first and second place.
Holden Racing turned in an impressive performance with driver Bruce
Garland and navigator Harry Suzuki besting all competitors for first place
overall and first in the Unlimited 4WD Recreational Vehicles and Utilities
class. Driver Peter Brock and navigator James Brock finished second overall
and first in the Showroom 4x4 Cross Country Recreational Vehicles and
Utilities class, while driver Peter Lockhart and navigator Tim Donovan
finished third in that class and sixth overall.
Land Off-Road Racing's team of driver Bob Land and navigator Paul
Connelly, sponsored by American Isuzu Motors Inc., finished in seventh place
overall, taking first in the Production 4WD Cross Country Recreational
Vehicles and Utilities class. This marks the third year in a row that Land
Racing has won this class in the Australian Safari. In 1999, Land won with an
Isuzu VehiCROSS and in 2000 with an Isuzu Trooper.
"The Australian Safari truly tests your physical and mental limits, as
well as the limits of your race vehicle," said Land. "It's a long race, and
it's all about endurance. I think we passed the test!"
The Australian Safari is one of the most challenging in off-highway
racing, drawing more than 65 competitors in the motorcycle and auto divisions
combined. The eight-day, 4,426-kilometer event takes racing teams through the
scenic yet treacherous terrain of Australia's Outback. The southern portion
of the course features high-speed sections, as well as sand dunes and rocky,
rugged desert mountains, while the northern portion includes tropical jungles
with river crossings, mud bogs and even dangerous termite hills that can grow
more than four feet high.
The competition is comprised of both selective (competitive) stages and
transport stages. Racers are allowed one timed service stop each day during
the rally, allowing crews to provide maintenance and repair work if necessary
during the race. At the end of each day, crews were allowed unlimited
maintenance throughout the night to prepare for the next day of competition.
American Isuzu Motors Inc. is the U.S. distributor of Isuzu sport utility
vehicles and diesel engines.