Glenn Hoffmann first entered the Wynn's Safari as an 18-year-old rookie. An even dozen Safaris later, he'd accumulated over 30,000 race kilometres, seven Safari Finishers' Medallions and a win in the Condo 750. Ironically, in 1995 and 1996, it was Glenn who gave KTM their very first Safari podiums.
Only a few years later, Glenn founded the GHR Honda Team which immediately made its mark with legends such as Stephen Greenfield, Peter McDonald, Paul Sinderberry and Jamie Cunningham. And the most impressive Condo 750 record with five outright victories in the past decade. When the Safari was relocated to WA the successes continued with wins for Ben Grabham in 2007 and 2008, Jake Smith in 2009 and a quinella for Todd and Jake Smith in 2011. So when the GHR team rolled into Condobolin showground last Easter with a Honda Quad and 4WD Nissan Patrol Ute in tow, questions needed to be asked.
Peter Whitaker: Glenn, firstly you must have been very proud of the team's 2011 Safari performance
Glenn Hoffmann: I always try to turn up at an event without a job so I can take care of the unexpected and when I got the message I had to fly back home before the Safari, the only thing that was different was watching the race on the internet rather than in the field.
Still, it was a remarkable effort.
GHR has been gearing up to expand into the four-wheel division for a while, which means the bike guys need to do their thing without me. We've got a lot better at systems and procedures and we've discovered a lot by having both bikes, the quad, and the expanded team.
What's GHR's involvement with the quad?
It's a pooling of resources. Our plan is to take Jake and Todd (Smith) and two customer bikes to the Safari together with Paul Smith (no relation) on the quad. Then work together to field a team for Dakar in 2013.
And the car? That is a surprise.
We've got no idea what we're doing but it's not a big investment and we'll learn. I don't know whether I'll really enjoy driving a 4WD but I'll find out. If I like it and we have time and apply ourselves, then there's no reason one day we can't run a program for a manufacturer, just like we've been doing for the past 12 years with the bikes. It certainly fits in with our team trying to go to Dakar.
As it turned out, minor technical glitches sidelined the Nissan on Day 1 of the Condo 750 whilst Paul Smith blew the motor on the quad. And in the bike category it was Todd Smith on the top step of the podium to claim the win. It will be interesting to see the GHR team roll into Geraldton next September