If you haven’t already seen here the unassuming legend Rod Colling drifted a little wide and hit a sharp ledge yesterday.
The result is a broken collar bone and a disappointingly early end to this years safari for Team Rooney Racing. It could have been worse, another rider hitting the same ledge left in a helicopter.
The Safari motorcycle fleet is severely dwindled and there appears to be no pre85 bikes left in the running (although the Rooney Machines were actually not accepted in that category).
But hey, Never mind, that is racing for you. Paul and Rod have been chatting about improvements to the 850 race machine that Rod believes is already a “great package ready to go”
And I understand that there is already talk of next year.
Well done Paul, Rod, Chris, Ken and Neil.
See you next year!
I got sidetracked with family stuff yesterday so missed the update. Please accept this late submission. I haven’t been able to talk to Paul either so no detail to offer beyond that which can be found here in the results.
Yesterdays Leg 2, consisted of 450+km of Special Stages. Rod has pushed the big 850 through to 25th place overall in the Moto’s. The race is taking out competitors at a steady pace so the field has dwindled markedly.
Anyway..check out this video interview with Rod at the end of leg 2 for some graphic footage of the Rooney Race team in action. Rod, how cool and collected can I guy be?!:
The leg summary videos too are pretty cool and do a good job of testifying to the difficulty of the race….for example…
7 out of 43 Motorcycle division starters failed to finish leg 1 of the Safari, sure testimonial of the extreme conditions machine and competitors face.
Regretfully, Chris on the 650 bike was one of them. I have just spoken to Paul and it sounds as though the prolonged deep sand punished the 65o too badly and it is out of the running. You can see the results here. A mammoth call out goes to Chris. Sorry it ended early but well done! Everything I heard is that you are a great guy that was doing awesome.
Rod had a better day aboard the 850, At the end of 23.26km Special Section 1 he was 10 minutes behind the lead time and coming in at 34th overall. After the 104.8km Special Section 2 he came in 29th and brought his overall down to 31st position. In the legs final 142.82km Section Rod came home 31st to retain his overall position. This last leg alone claimed 14 cars and 4 bikes, so…well done Rod !
Here is Rod Rocketing along in the special after having ditched the light and fairing obviously to save weight and gain more speed. Image courtesy of Ross Briggs.
NEWSFLASH, a further 17 minutes is expected to come off Rods time so that overall standing is set to improve.
But then…it’s only just begun really…tomorrows first Special Section is a big one at 230km. Go Rod you bloody legend!
A ceremonial and prologue start kicks off tomorrow morning at 9.45am from Julien Bay.
Chris will be out just 5 minutes after the grand oratory and live sacrifices are performed (9.50am) and 10 minutes later (10.03am) Rod heads out aboard number 25. See here you. No doubt others that survive the ceremonial will be hot on their heels.
So get along and cheer them on! Go team Rooney! Sacrifice your self and go get some ceremonial magic!
If you, like me have been looking for the place results are posted…see here.
So I’ve spent a couple of days at Camp Rooneycycle, sleeping out in the camper on board the imposing 6×6 Landrover, eating sandwiches and talking bikes.
It’s all action as the Australasian Safari looms only weeks away. Both race bikes are now ready to go. Rod Colling and Neil Grime have had them out fine tuning the machines in technical trails dissecting the NSW hinterlands.
When Rod got back on Sunday I managed to extract the new race machine from his grip while he was distracted by a passing BMW z3. I was only able to zip the machine along an adjoining cane farm haul road, and even though I’m no safari racer I can tell you it is no slouch and certainly no rubber cow. ‘Nimble’ is not a word often associated with big boxer gs’s…but it rolls easily off your tongue (hanging out of your broad gaping grin) after a ride on this bike.
As soon as I bought it back Rod pulled the seat off in an effort to stop me sneaking off on it again. I didn’t bother to say I hadn’t sat down on it anyway…I just snapped off the following images of the machine lazing in the sun by the mighty Richmond River.
Back in the workshop I was sneaking around, lifting up the scattered sheets and towels that cover various bits of Specials in progress and generally distracting Paul with conversation when Peter showed up on his R80g/s special and bounced some banter around the brimming workshop also.
Just then tucked away on a bench in the ‘engine room’ a furtive glance under a pillowcase uncovered my own 1070cc engine in pre-production. Actually almost an entire bike of mine is tucked away in the workshop. You just need to know what boxes to look in. Comfortingly it seems that Paul does.
I also stumbled across a recently completed Rooney Collector. The combined collector muffler system sounds incredible but not obnoxious on the race bike … so I’ve requested such a specimen for my own machine. It now sports a stamp too…check it out…
Robin is running one on his Special now as is Rod Colling on the Special he rides when he is not riding a ..err ..Special. Both of these guys were recently out on the Tony Kirby Memorial Ride enjoying their machines and the camaraderie of the trail. Fantastic pictures are courtesy of Danny Wilkinson photography.
Anyhow, after a couple days it finally dawned on me that Neil was out servicing the Landrover, Paul was bustling around putting together spares and tweaking race machines, Rod was organizing some transport, Peter had sensibly moved along and I was … well, I was looking a bit like a third wheel. I quickly stuffed some fuel cell foam in the tank of Rods race bike so at least I felt like I had participated in the safari and then I high tailed it to the airport before anyone asked me to grease a mousse. No I don’t mean…ah whatever.