After a tough start to the event, the Maximum Motorsport Forester is now a little battered and bruised, but finding its feet.
All the attention today was solidly on defending Safari champ Craig Lowndes, who rolled his Holden Colorado on the first stage of the day.
But there were no such problems from Rob Herridge, Tim Batten and the #105 Forester. Mindful to conserve the rear suspension on the car, they took a cautious approach to the rougher sections and made up time on the faster parts. From here, the goal is the finish line on Friday.
“The first stage where Craig Lowndes rolled was in country that would have suited us if not for the suspension”, commented Rob. “The first third and the last third were rally stages, but the middle was bumpy. It really suited the motorcycles and trophy trucks; it was very bouncy and we just had to go slow”.
At last nights service the team discovered the Forester was losing some water, and tiny bubbles in the coolant reservoir suggested it was running hot.
“It could have been that it got too hot when we were going slow through twisty areas with the wind behind us for about 50km. It’s not really obvious what the cause is, so we need to be more aware in the future. We flushed the coolant systems and added a bottle of Chem-I-Weld which hopefully will catch the problem and it won’t get worse.”
“The terrain hasn’t gotten any easier. The tufts of grass were high enough that when we bounced over them they would catch the back bumper. By the end of the day the bumper was just hanging!”
Today the teams will encounter two more tough stages of 380kms, looping back to Leonora for the final night of the event.
Photos courtesy of www.australasiansafari.com.au and Chris Parker.