The 2013 Australasian Safari is now underway!

The Jurien Bay prologue held yesterday was a short 7km sprint through gravel rally roads leading into winding, sandy coastal tracks and a dash along the water’s edge. While barely 6 minutes into the 3200km event, GHR Honda team mates Todd and Jacob Smith have secured second and third in the start order for the 270km of racing on Day 1 between Northampton and Kalbarri.

Todd Smith, who finished 34th in Dakar this year said today’s racing was good for him. “It just wasn’t really long enough to get going. The bike feels great, and the body feels good.”

Last year’s moto winner Jake Smith said it was all good for him out there today. “I’m looking forward to this week, I’m aiming to win, I don’t come to Safari to come second,” he said.

Day 1 opens with more coastal terrain on SS1/1 Oakabella routed through 23.26km of mixed sand and rocks. Straight away, competitors have been promised challenging navigation. SS1/2 Whelarra returns to a stage run in the 2012 event. It is a fast, open selective of 104.85km through farm country. Firmer tracks will allow the riders to hit their straps as speeds increase. The final selective stage SS1/3 Murchison Off Road Yandi starts where 2012 finished. The 142.82km of rugged terrain are loaded with cautions amongst the rough tracks of Yandi, Coolcalalaya and Mary Springs Stations. Having crossed the Murchison River, the competitors head to the one night bivouac in beautiful Kalbarri, 592 north of Perth.

Prologue standings:
2nd place: #4 SMITH, Todd – 06:15
3rd place: #1 SMITH, Jake – 06:23
17th place: #8 BALL, Charlie – 06:54
26th place: #14 McDONALD, John – 07:46

#1 – Jacob Smith, 2013 Australasian Safari Prologue. Photo: Sabine Albers

#1 – Jacob Smith, 2013 Australasian Safari Prologue. Photo: Sabine Albers