As the start of the 2013 Dakar draws near, it’s time to introduce the the team properly.

This year there are four CRF450X Rallye bikes to be ridden by Todd Smith (AUS), Warren Strange (AUS), Brett Cummings (ZAF) and Glenn Grundy (ZAF). A new project for GHR is the TRX700XX quad to be ridden by Paul Smith (AUS). Providing mechanical support to the riders will be team owner Glenn Hoffmann, Simon Wade, Rob Ingram, Jake Young and Peter Wilhelms. Some of the riders have other personal supporters in tow.

Work has been ongoing since the team’s debut at the 2011 Dakar. 2012 resulted in a year off from racing at Dakar, but along side team victories at the Australasian Safari, Condo 750 and Yellow Mountain Cross Country there has been continual development in the background dedicated to the next Dakar appearance.

Todd Smith

GHR Honda's Todd Smith, #156, Dakar 2013

#156 Todd Smith was granted the GHR Honda ticket to Dakar this year for two reasons, partly based on form but also to provide him the same experience that younger brother Jacob had in 2011. GHR have always approached the Dakar as a multi year project, so for future campaigns it’s essential that the key riders all have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the event. Winner of the 2011 Australasian Safari and multiple navigational rallies in 2012 his outlook for Dakar is one of confidence.

GHR Honda's Warren Strange, #131, Dakar 2013

GHR Honda's Warren Strange, #131, Dakar 2013

#131 Warren Strange is a highly motivated individual with extensive race experience at home and abroad. He entered the 2011 Dakar with GHR Honda and was running well until succumbing to a shoulder injury on Day 6. Not to be discouraged, Warren embarked on a rigorous recovery and training program in 2012 with a view to racing hard at Dakar again this year. In contrast to his preparations for 2011, Warren has covered monumental distances on his rally bike in the last 12 months riding solo in remote parts of central Australia. His bike fitness and familiarity with his machine are exceptional, as demonstrated by his second place outright in the most recent Australasian Safari.

South Africans under GHR: Brett Cummings #89 and Glen Grundy #91, Dakar 2013

South Africans under the GHR flag: Brett Cummings #89 and Glen Grundy #91, Dakar 2013

South African rider #89 Brett Cummings is the winner of the Australian division of the recent Dakar Challenge. His fourth place finish at the 2012 Australasian Safari with GHR also saw him secure this Challenge granting him free entry at this year’s Dakar. It’s a far cry from his frustrations the previous year when he sustained massive injuries only weeks before he was due to race the Safari for the first time. However in a demonstration of character and true grit, he still came to Australia to offer support to compatriot Glen Grundy and to learn what he could for next time. His training over the last 12 months has involved a numerous races on motorcycles and mountain bikes, exposure to altitude and extreme heat and constant discipline in the gym.

Also from South Africa is #91 Glen Grundy. Glen has followed the Dakar Rally enthusiastically for years, but it was only after following the race on two wheels in 2009 that he realised it was a challenge he could see himself meeting. Relatively speaking he is a late-comer to competitive motorcycle racing, but he is no stranger to adventure and it’s in this spirit that he’s entered Dakar. He has been conscientious in his training over the last two years, entering numerous races at home and abroad. In 2011 Glen’s debut at the Australasian Safari was halted by a fractured collarbone. But rather than rushing home he remained with the team for the rest of the event and came back to proudly claim his finisher’s medal in 2012. Training along side Brett Cummings for most of 2012, he’s in good stead to claim his Dakar finisher’s medal this year too.

GHR Honda quad rider Paul Smith #274, Australia's first quad pilot at Dakar in 2013

GHR Honda quad rider Paul Smith #274, Australia's first quad pilot at Dakar in 2013

Victorian #274 Paul Smith is making history in 2013 as Australia’s first quad rider to enter the Dakar. His partnership with GHR Honda was forged late in 2011 with the decision to race the 2013 Dakar aboard a Honda TRX700XX. He already has multiple victories at the Australasian Safari, Finke Desert Race and State quad MX races under his belt supported by numerous podium places taken on four wheels in the last decade. Completing Dakar has been a long time dream but he’s seeking to make an impression beyond that.