Australasian Safari leader Rod Faggotter raced with fallen competitor Ivan Erceg on his mind for much of today's penultimate leg of the 2013 event in Western Australia.
Fallen Australasian Safari competitor Ivan Erceg wasn’t ever far from the mind of 2013 leader Rod Faggotter during today’s penultimate leg of this year’s event in Western Australia.
Erceg was tragically killed during leg five on Wednesday, however the event continued today for the sixth leg as many dedicated their efforts to Erceg.
Following a day won by Yamaha Desert Racing teammate Shane Diener, Faggotter finished fourth and will now take a commanding 15-minute lead into the final leg on Friday.
“Nothing too exciting from me today as I think I spent half the day riding around thinking about Ivan and what happened yesterday,” Faggotter said.
“On behalf of Yamaha and the entire YDR team, our best wishes and thoughts are with the Erceg family and I know our racing family will get around them in their time of need.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow and will enter the day in much the same way I have done since day one. Minimise the risks, keep my on the job and ride it all the way to the end.”
West Australian competitors and multiple Safari entrants Paul Nappy and Vern Strange wore Erceg’s bike number 19 today as a tribute to their good friend.
At the end of leg four, Ivan was 18 hours ahead in his vehicle class so as a measure of respect for his performance, Nappy and Strange continued to check his card in at time controls to give him an unofficial win.
The final day will consist of over 80 kilometres including deep sandy sections around the Geraldton area to conclude an emotion-charged contest this year.
Faggotter currently leads by 15 minutes over KTM runner Matt Fish, while Diener is a further 15 minutes in arrears to complete the podium.
2013 Australasian Safari
Overall moto results (after leg five of seven):
1. Rod Faggotter 18h06m29
2. Matt Fish 18h32m44
3. Shane Diener 18h46m28
4. Lee Stephens 19h14m34
5. Alister McRae 19h15m29
6. Russell Scoble 19h58m49
7. Ryan Ingram 20h38m54
8. Troy O’Connor 20h58m24
9. Tim Foreman 21h47m41
10. Stan Watt 21h59m39