to Sydney Marathon
5th June - 4th July 2004
Day 23 - Ayres
Rock to Coober Pedy
INTO THE OUTBACK
AND McANDREW TAKES THE LEAD
Over the first sixty kms of racing stages
around Mt Conner in the heart of the Australian outback Joe
McAndrew in his Honda snatched the lead from Toyota's Jimmy
McRae opening up a gap of 1m 14seconds.
Co-driver Murray Cole said, "The sandy stuff
suited us and our tyres and I think our engines have more
torque than the Toyotas and Joe revels in soft going."
Classic Escort man Anthony Ward was bemused
by the stages, "I've never been in sandy stuff like that before.
I was wheel spinning at 7,000 revs in third gear, it was very
strange. Frankly I didn't know what to do. I played it safe
and worked on not stopping and not getting bogged down. I
think we were two minutes slower than McAndrew."
Austrian doctor Gerald Brandstetter's Escort
developed a valve problem and went on to three cylinders,
"So we limped through like a three-legged donkey but we made
it. We know what the problem is and hopefully tonight we can
Honda man Mike Montgomery went consistently
quicker than Graham Lorimer in his Toyota and stole third
place from him so suddenly the Honda team is looking strong
with three of their cars in the top five.
The gallant little Czech entry of Ota Kramarz
in the smallest engine car in the event - the 1300cc Skoda
- had transmission problems but typically managed roadside
repairs and arrived last into Coober Pedy. "A shame," said
Ota, "All the shops were closed so I won't be able to buy
my wife an opal."
Sydney Toyota dealer Brian Hilton quietly
climbing his way up the leader board into the top ten in his
Corolla had nothing to report at the end of the day other
than, "Just keeping out of trouble and pointing it in the
right direction." Hilton is a canny competitor from way back
who know that marathons are not won in a hurry and is pacing
himself to the finish. more...
out daily reports:
June to 4th July 2004 day by day