Top offroad racer Bruce Garland continues to make steady progress at the midway point of the Australasian Safari.
Garland and perennial navigator Harry Suzuki, who have won the event five-times in the past, are positioned 12th outright in the auto category.
Competing under the banner of Team Toyo and their own company, Isuzu Motorsports, Garland and Suzuki usually tackle the Safari in a high-powered ‘Dakar-spec' Isuzu D-MAX but this year the duo is driving a more standard standard variant.
With around 20 per cent more power and torque (156kW and 456Nm) than the showroom model, the ute is competing in the international T2 class that covers 4WD vehicles with some minor modifications.
The Safari is living up to its reputation as Australia's toughest off-road motorsport event with many competitors being slowed by the rough conditions.
“A lot of people have been having multiple punctures because it's so rough out there, but not us,” Garland said.
“I may risk jinxing myself, but our tyres have been sensational. They're copping some really tough conditions but they just keep going.”
“The D-MAX is great, going really well, and the driver is getting better every day! Lots of crews in front of us are having issues with the conditions but we just keep ticking.
“It's a bit of a waiting game on an event like this. We don't have the outright power of the guys running at the front but many of them are pushing too hard in the conditions and that's when you can come unstuck. We'll pick up the pace a bit now and see where we finish.”
Leg four will take competitors from Gascoyne Junction to the town of Carnarvon, where the Gascoyne River meets the Indian Ocean.
The 2013 Australasian Safari is in its 28th year.