The Husaberg Rallye Racing team had a great Safari this year with two top ten placings and 6 bikes to the finish in what is considered to be the toughest Safari rallye of the last decade.
David Schwarz put his 2008 FE650 into 5th outright and Andrew Coaker his 2009 FE570 in 7th outright................top stuff guys
Annie Seel did her usual amazing iron woman rallye ride by overcoming pain big time to place 16th outright.
eight rider team with 15 service/support crew, largest Husberg rallye team at any multiday rallye ever
#7 David Schwarz - '08 FE650
#8 Andrew Coaker - '09 FE570
#10 Brandon Keinhaus - '07 FE650
#11 Annie Seel - '09 FE570
#29 Garry Connell - '09 FE570
#41 Geoff Dean - '09 FE570
#57 Ben Green - '09 FE570
#73 Mick Heuchan -- '09 FE570
Annie & Justin Hunt event director prior to start
New 2009 FE570 rallye bikes with pre-production RV Aqualine Safari tanks. front = 16L the rear = 10L, big bore power and speed with 250F feel and handling
Magnus the Man - Annie's mechanic from back in Sweden
Service crew Magnus & Richie at a refuel stop
David Schwarz changing out his roadbook scroll
Brandon giving the big 650 some stick
Brandon had great speed and posted some top level stage times but unfortunately had a big endo on Day 2 & split his fuel tank and he lost lots of time, a "what if" possible top 5 ride otherwise
Before the event we thought the 650's may have had an advantage due to the extra hp & torque, but the 570's made up for the hp gap with their handling and ability to preserve the rider. At the end of the rallye there was little to seperate them on stage times.
The 650's had again a total rock solid run, very reliable bikes, no mechanical issue what so ever, just oil, filters & fuel. So over the last 3 Safari's we have used 8 650's with no OEM mechanical issues at all, only things that broke where non-OEM things we put on them.
On Day 6 only 50km into a 250km stage Annie had a stick pierce her boot and foot, breaking it off with a stump remaining she raced on to the end of the stage where medics removed it then she continued on to finish the event.............tough stuff !!!
In the teams debut year in 2008 it put a Berg into the top 10 with essentially novice Safari/rallye riders.
This year thanks to great consistent rides from David & Coake the team made top 5 in what is considered to be the toughest Safari in 10 years with the most competitive field racing at a flat out sprint pace the whole event
Of note there were 10 riders capable of making the podium this year or have done it before - Grabbo, Damien G, 2 X Smiths, AJ, Rod F, Fishy, Coake, David S, Ivan & Tim could have sneaked it
If you see the final times of the top 3, they were within 16 mins of each other, they were racing it like it was Finke not a 7 day 4,000km rallye
There was then almost a 2hr gap back to the the next bunch of Ivan & David etc
Both David and Annie commented strongly on how hot the pace was compared to other rallies and Safari's they had done
Also the dnf rate at 25% was the highest this year for the last 10 years
If Dakar regs were used that dnf rate would have gone up to 45%
So yes it was a TOUGH event this year, just as it should be
In 2010 the Husaberg Rallye Racing team's gaol is very much a podium finish