The 2012 Australasian Safari is heating up Transmoto discovering today that four-time Baja 1000 champion and top-10 Dakar Rally finisher, Quinn Cody, will join the CPW KTM Rally team for the eight-day endurance event.
The 35-year-old US rider has been competing as a professional off-road racer since 15. He received national recognition in the off-road world after capturing the National Hare and Hound Championship in 2004, and the following year took the bronze medal in the ISDE for USA, won the Baja 250 and finished second in the Baja 1000. And in the last eight years he's won four Baja 1000 events, two Baja 500, took ninth overall at Dakar and competed and finished the Erzberg Rodeo - to put that in perspective, the completion rate for this year's Erzberg was 0.03%!
CPW KTM Rally's Team Manager Don McGrath is excited to inject fresh blood into the Safari, saying, "We were after a top-line strike rider to have a go at this year's Safari. We looked at a few European riders but the Safari conflicted with a round of the World Rally Championship. When we contacted Quinn he was excited about the opportunity, saying he's had the Safari in his sights for a number of years. We put forward a proposal, which he accepted, and he'll arrive the week before the event."
As for CPW's other team members, McGrath anticipates to run a two-man team for 2012, with Cody being joined by experienced desert racer, Matt Fish. "At this point we expect Matt Fish will join us at the Safari, but he may ride with the HSE Motorex KTM team and fill in for the injured three-time Safari champion, Ben Grabham."
Cody will be racing on the same machine CPW prepared for last year's Safari - the modified Dakar Rally 450SX-Fs with updated engine components. While Fish will be on the new 2013 KTM 500EXC, that is if KTM can get the bike in the country and prepared in time.
The Australian Safari will take place from September 21 to 29 this year and takes a new route up Western Australia's coastline. Competitors will cover more than 3000km; starting and finishing in Geraldton, they'll go through Kalbarri, Gascoyne, Carnarvon and Kennedy Ranges.
For more details about the Australasian Safari, head to the official website.