Team crashes out of Dakar
DAIRY FARMER Steve Riley from Nerrena and co-driver Trevor Hanks were forced to prematurely withdraw from the Dakar Rally off road racing event in Peru this January.
Nine days into the race, the duo nose-dived their Holden ute rally car over a sheer sand dune.
Mr Riley was airlifted to Lima Hospital for fear of back trauma. Thankfully, scans revealed no injuries as a result of the impact.
Co-driver Mr Hanks was sore but unharmed and in good spirits despite the incident, according to the drivers’ team.
The race was fraught with difficulties and saw the team encounter other issues before their accident and official withdrawal.
Eighty kilometres into the marathon stage, the powder of the Peru dunes had worked its way into the clutch on their rally car via spaces around the starter motor and damaged the clutch.
The pair limped the Holden ute back to the highway where they were then towed to Arequipa. After initially believing they wouldn’t be able to continue after withdrawing from this stage, the team were elated to find out that they were able to rejoin the race with a penalty.
Unfortunately their time back in the rally was short lived, with their accident occurring shortly after on the morning of January 14.
The Dakar, which comprised of 10 gruelling stages, started on January 6 and concluded on January 16. The 2019 race was the 41st edition of the event.
Victory went to Toby Price in the bike race, Nicolas Cavigliasso took home first place in the quad category, Francisco ‘Chaleco’ López triumphed after six years of absence with a win in the SxS race, Eduard Nikolaev dominated in the truck race, making the win his fourth title, and Nasser Al-Attiyah conquered in the car category with his third title.
Overall, 179 riders, drivers and crews reached Maddalena beach in Lima, where it all began, to celebrate finishing the punishing race.
While it may not have been the finish driver Steve Riley and co-driver Trevor Hanks were hoping for, it was an impressive feat nonetheless by the two Australian drivers.
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