Thursday, July 30, 2009


The truck prep is wrapping up and we head shortly to the designated scrutineering time - 1:30 pm Perth time - 10:30 pm PST - back home.  The guys were able to rig up the turn signals required by the governing bodies' race regs, but it made for a late night.  The driver's meeting is tonight and will clarify outstanding questions about rules, regs and schedule.  We will post those specifics and the information about the Marathon Legs.

THE COURSE is a clockwise race starting in Perth and heading north to the coastal town of Geraldton, before turning east, then south to the finish in Kalgoorlie.  Below is the general race schedule.

PROLOGUE - Saturday, August 1st
CEREMONIAL START - Saturday, August 1st
FINISH - KALGOORLIE - Saturday, August 8th

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Australasian Safari Update #4

10:45am Wednesday 29 July (local time)

We’re here!  After 36 hours of travel, including stops in L.A., Melbourne and Adelaide, it was a pleasure to step out of the airport in Perth to link up with Greg Knowles and Josh Ogg.  His lifted H2 out in the parking lot was our clue they were there.  From the airport, we stopped at Henley Saab/Hummer where our H3 was waiting for us.  Thanks to Nick Richards (US Hummer Marketing) and his counter-parts in Australia, they have provided us with a Solar Flare H3 to use in the event as our primary support vehicle.

After some rest we are now down at the Race Torque race shop where Ogg is finishing up the UHF radio installation and Greg is completing the Monit rally computer and M.D. map reader electrical install.  I’m glad that’s not my job!  Jason is also installing all of the camera equipment inside the truck.  So at the moment, it’s a full house around the truck.

In the next few minutes, Stump and I are heading to the mobile Safari HQ, which is located at the Ascot Racecourse near Perth, to finally meet Justin Hunt and his Octagon staff.  According to Justin, that is to be the second thing we do today.

It really is great to be here!  I’ll update this evening after we know what Justin has in mind for us.  

Friday, July 24, 2009

Australasian Safari - Post #3

The team is down to a few days now before the event kicks off. Seven to be exact. Our prep man, Josh Ogg, arrived in Perth a few hours ago and was greeted in Aussie style by Greg Knowles, the race truck owner and key team member. As neither one knew the other, Greg greeted Josh with a hastily created VIP sign as the crowd deplaned. Once in hand, both were off to the port of Freemantle to pick up the race truck in Greg’s H2. While the Australian Customs process has been a bit frustrating for Greg, the good news is that most of our items have finally been cleared and are ready to be removed from the port. After a little rest, Josh has a list of items that must be accomplished to the race truck in order to comply with the Confederation of Australian Motorsports (CAMS) safety requirements. Once at the race shop, I will update the progress of that list.

My friend Wes Richie – a combat veteran U.S. Navy SEAL - and his company, EXSTA® Advanced Hydration, will be partnering with us for this event to create a stronger competitive package. I used EXSTA® at the last Baja 1000 and will it will in my daily supply of water in the race truck. Hydration and nutrition is a key component to long, back-to-back race days. Check out and look for it on our website soon.

The truck is there, the team is complete and even our shirts our done. Justin Hunt authorized us to be able to reproduce the Australasian Safari Rally logo on our team shirts for this year. So with the help of George Thompson our Safari Edition shirts and hats will complete our team appearance. We even look like a team!

All for now, but expect more to follow soon!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Australasian Safari Update #2 - from Josh

It's a little over three weeks away from the Safari and a few more details are ironed out. The race truck arrived in Perth over the weekend and now is on it's way to Freemantle on the western shore of the continent. The container is on schedule to arrive by the 11th and will then start the customs process. The race producer, Octagon, and Austorient have both been extremely effecient at helping us through
this process.

Our all important crew has been finalized as well. Josh Ogg (our SamCo prep guru) arrives in Perth on the 26th to start the final touches on the H2 SUT -"Tigger" as we refer to "him" in the shop.

I will arrive on the 28th with navigator Thad Stump and Jason Jacopian - our go to video pro.

Race truck owner Greg Knowles has lined up two additional Aussies to help with the cause. Daniel Villanova and Graham Jones both have extensive experience with Greg in the Australian Rally Championship and are a welcome addition to the team.

Add in the experience of Rod Hall and the talent of Emily Miller and our team is complete.

There are plenty of additional irons in the fire, so as those items become concrete, I will share that information as well.

All for now.