Leg 2 of the Australasian Safari was a short day for both riders and crews, with the Smith brothers being the first two bikes rolling out of Mt Magnet from 7.30am, and arriving in Sandstone shortly after midday.

SS3 consisted of 196.96km before the Nyuing service, followed by 129.75km in SS4. All GHR riders successfully cleared both selectives stages save for Stuart Bowen who had a stick spear through his boot in SS4. At the time of writing Bowen was undergoing treatment at Sandstone but he is intending to continue the race tomorrow. His bike has just been returned to the crew for servicing.

SS3 was won by Jacob Smith with a time of 01:54:56, followed by Ben Grabham at 01:55.49 and Todd Smith at 01:56:37.

Todd Smith was just under a minute faster than his brother in SS4 with a stage time of 01:11:10 over Jacob’s 01:12:08.

Todd leads the Safari at 07:28:40, followed by Jacob at 07:31:22 and Ben Grabham at 07:32:28. Cyril Despres stands in sixth place at 07:43:11 total race time.

Rider comments:

Jacob Smith: “Todd and I rode together for much of the way today and worked together. Over here you do have to read the terrain more than at Dakar and having someone to ride with is a huge help. At Dakar, if it’s a 45 degree corner, the arrow shows the corner as it really is, angle and everything. Here you have to work it out as you go and that’s what we are used to. There will be a 4 or 5 kilometre length of road that does change direction, quite often but it’s marked as straight. But it doesn’t mean there aren’t things waiting for you around the next bend.”

Todd Smith: “The terrain opened up a bit more today which suits me well. I struggled a bit in the morning just finding the track, but it came good in SS4. Early on there really wasn’t a well defined track, just a change in the colour of the grass at times – so definitely another day that was hard on the lead riders. I’d actually be happy to go out third tomorrow. Just spotting the odd roost mark helps define bumps and corners, making it so much easier to ride fast. That’s where riding with Jake was so good when we joined up. We raced each other most of the way for a great run with no mistakes.

Vale Don Hoffmann

It’s with sadness that the GHR family announce the passing of Glenn Hoffmann’s father Don on the evening of 23 September 2011. Don had been ill for some time but celebrated life right up to the end, surrounded by loved ones in hospital while he watched the footy on Friday night. When he learned how well Jacob and Todd had run in the prologue, his response was a resolute “stick it up ‘em!” with a fist in the air. The Hoffmann family and team knew that Don – the man who first put Glenn on a motorcycle – remained GHR’s biggest supporter all the way to his last. Having played a huge part of the successes achieved over the years, he will be sorely missed but fondly remembered by all.