Riley to race Dakar Rally
LEONGATHA’S Steve Riley is set to start an 8000km trek around South America on Saturday as he competes in his second Dakar Rally.
The seasoned motorsport driver is well prepared to be co-driver to fellow Australian Adrian Di Lallo and the RedEarth Motorsport team to bring their Isuzu D-MAX over the finish line on January 20.
The dairy farmer has abundant experience in the off road racing field, after competing in various cross country and off-road rallies around Australia and the world.
In the past five years the dairy farmer has taken out three victories in the Australasian Safari in his Mitsubishi Pajero, as well as competing in Europe and driving in the 2011 Dakar Rally where he finished 27th overall.
RedEarth Motorsport is excited to have him on board for the rally and said his ability to fix mechanical problems will be paramount in the tough event.
Riley said he is excited yet nervous about the unknown challenge that awaits.
“We have a great car that has been meticulously prepared over the last 12 months by the Isuzu team and is ready to be unleashed,” he said.
The Dakar Rally will take Riley and his team through Peru, Argentina and Chile over gruelling terrain including the Atacarma Desert, massive sand dunes, high altitude mountain passes of the Andes, wet and dry river crossings and endless rocky tracks.
Every day the driving stages will be between 400km and 700km in length, while a dedicated team of technicians from Sydney and Bangkok will work tirelessly every night during the two week event to ensure the D-MAX is ready for battle the next day.
“The Dakar is going to be tough, no doubt about it. It’s such an extreme challenge on so many levels,” Riley said.
“The endurance factor, pushing the car to the edge, and the different terrains and conditions we are going to face, but that’s all part of the adventure.”
Over one billion people worldwide will be watching 459 competitors from 53 countries fight for glory against each other and nature in the rally.
Look out for Riley’s car – number 439 – when you tune in to the race on SBS this month.
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