Riley in Dakar top 40
LEONGATHA’S Steve Riley has secured a top-40 place in the Dakar Rally.
Riley was co-driver to West Australian Adrian Di Lallo and together they finished an impressive 38th outright in the marathon two-week-long event in South America.
Riley’s car was one of the 93 to make the finish line out of 153 starters of the race.
Sunday saw the final stage that rounded out a journey of around 8500km from the start in Lima, Peru on January 5, and took them as high as 5000m in the Andes Mountains.
On board car 439, the Red Earth Motorsport Isuzu D-MAX, the pair powered through some of the toughest terrain to make it to the finish line.
Riley reflected on his time in the rally on Facebook after crossing the finish line.
“My memory looks back over the last 8500 km of the 2013 Dakar Rally and beautiful South America,” he wrote.
“The places I have been, the faces of the people I have met, the adventures and camaraderie of fellow competitors from around the world, all rolled into this crazy French real life X-Box-type video game will never leave me.
“Somehow my mind is already making plans of another adventure in another place.”
Di Lallo said he was happy to have Riley in the cockpit with him throughout the tough race.
“I can’t thank my wife and my crew enough for their dedication and unwavering support and Steve, of course,” he said.
“He had a huge part to play in our safe arrival, bringing his vast experience to the cockpit and keeping me calm and on course.”
Di Lallo and Riley completed the rally in a rebuilt 2008 Isuzu D-MAX that had already once completed the gruelling race in 2009.
The final time for the pair was just over 57 hours, 18 hours behind first place getters Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret.
This time however gives Di Lallo and Riley a fourth place in the diesel fuel pick-up class.
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