Rob Herridge, Sam Hill and the Maximum Motorsport Subaru XV have successfully completed Leg 1 of the 2018 Sunraysia Safari.
The opening stage was a 105 km trial to the east of Mildura, navigating around dry lake beds and over desert tracks.
Completing the stage just over 12 minutes behind John Hederics in his purpose-built Jimco buggy, the Subaru XV, which was completed only last week, made it to the finish line without incident.
“The car was fantastic”, commented Rob Herridge after the evening service of the XV was completed. “This was a ground-up build, and the 100km transport out to the stage was my first chance to drive the car! We have carried over some things from the Forester, but a lot of this car is completely new. So I’m really happy with the way it performed.”
“The drought in this part of NSW has been pretty dramatic, and that has caused the tracks we use to be really dry, loose and cut-up. These types of tracks probably play in the hands of the larger 4WDs, so we’re happy the way the car performed.”
“I’m a little disappointed where we finished today. The one problem we did have was with the GPS antenna that connects to our Monit rally computer. It was giving intermittent readings. We managed to work our way through the first 80 kms or so of the stage, but then we took a wrong turn, lost around seven or eight minutes and ended up having to run in the dust of a couple of other competitors. So without the problem with the antenna, we would have had a much better result.”
“Unfortunately we’ll be reseeded tomorrow, so we’ll be starting further down the field and that means we’ll be running in other competitors dust again. We’ll just have to work our way through that. Hopefully we can make up some positions. But overall, I’m really happy with the way the car has performed.”
Wednesday sees the first full day of competition, with four stages covering a total of 285 competitive kilometers. Crews will start the day north of Mildura and Wentworth for the Milpara stage, moving further north towards Lake Nearie for the Hazeldell stage, and then east to Pooncarie for two afternoon stages.
For live stage times, visit https://www.maximummotorsport.com.au/stage-times/
Sunraysia Safari 2018 – Overall after Leg 1
1. John Hederics, Jimco Buggy, 1:04:14
2. Glenn Owen, Jimco Buggy, +1:43
3. Jason Noonan, Jimco Buggy, +6:20
4. Todd Smith, Nissan Patrol, +6:51
5. Phil Lovett, Can Am Maverick, +7:09
9. Rob Herridge, Subaru XV, +12:20