It was clear blue sky’s and perfect weather that greeted the drivers for the 30th Anniversary Condo 750 Navigational Rally. The dry conditions did however throw up some challenges for the 30 plus entries in the way of dust. Early morning made navigation difficult, until the wind picked up later in the day, leaving less dust hanging in the air for the drivers to contend with.
Prologue kicked off on Friday afternoon and the 34km course tested the navigational skills of drivers and navigators. Only 3 seconds separated the Mitsubishi Triton of Warren Denham and second place Isuzu Vcross driven by Andrew Travis. Local legend Geoff Smith teamed up with son Todd (previous Moto winner) and managed to put their Nissan Patrol up into third on their first outing.
Saturday’s racing was close with last year’s victor, Dean George having a great run in his Ford Maverick to come home in first for the day but only 1min 36sec in front of Warren Denham. Andrew Travis was less than 60 seconds behind Denham in third place. Todd Smith drove well in the Patrol but a broken front drive shaft saw the Smith duo loose time and drop to 7th overall.
Sunday morning’s first stage was over 270km long. These long stages were just the thing Dakar driver Bruce Garland enjoys and he was able to move up the field from his starting position of 9th. Despite fitting a new drive shaft, the Smiths first Rally together was not to be. A gearbox problem ended their race just prior to the lunch break.
Steve Riley might have had a terrible prologue, but by Sunday, his Holden VF was back on full song. Riley posted the quickest time for Sunday, boosting his position but it was not enough to see the podium.
Andrew Travis and David Travis took out the win, 13minutes ahead of Warren Denham and Aaron Toplif with Bruce Garland and Stephen Green taking home a well-deserved third place.
Images and words © M. Sullivan 2018