Alister McRae wins class on Australasian Safari – on two wheels
Oct 01, 2013

Former British Rally Champion and works WRC driver Alister McRae returned to competition in September, swapping four wheels for two to ride a KTM 500 EXC on the Australasian Safari rally raid. The Scot, who now lives in Perth, Western Australia, finished the event fifth overall in the Moto category and as first Production-specification bike after a week, and 3200Km, of arduous riding over a variety of terrain.
McRae is no stranger to off-road motorcycling – he began in motorsport riding trials and motocross at the age of 12, before turning his attention to rallying. However, he had been interested in competing on the Australasian Safari, one of the Asia-Pacific’s most challenging off-road races and one of the rounds of the Dakar Challenge, for some time.

He was introduced to the Australian KTM importer by Event Director Justin Hunt, whom Alister knew from his involvement with Australia’s WRC rally. The result was a deal with KTM to ride the 2014 model of the 500EXC on the Safari, in the Production category.
In preparation for the event, McRae undertook a significant training program, including physical fitness, riding and navigational skills and familiarisation with the bike, in case of problems en route.

The first day consisted of three stages and Alister settled in well to the task ahead, enjoying the riding while developing his navigational skills. Day two also consisted of three stages and although he was riding well, he lost time when he stopped to assist a fellow competitor who was suffering mechanical problems, eventually towing him to the end of the stage. The third day saw Alister climb to sixth while day four saw him fully on top of the navigation techniques, gaining two more positions to rise to fourth.
The fifth day was cut short, following an accident involving another rider while day six saw him drop a place, as a result of lost time in the sand dunes that made up that day’s route. The seventh and final day saw him reach the finish line at Geraldton, 450Km north of Perth, in fifth place. However, more importantly was his position as first production category bike home, a huge testament to the strength and reliability of the KTM 500 EXC.

Commenting, Alister said: “It’s been an amazing week; excellent fun but also, incredibly challenging. I knew it would be but I wasn’t sure just how much and I am delighted to not only reach the finish but also, to be the first Production specification bike home. I would like to thank KTM, the boys in the Equiprent team, Justin and the organisers for making this adventure possible.

“I know what’s involved in a major off-road event, having done the Dakar twice. But both were in a car and while they were tough, I wasn’t having to navigate myself and I wasn’t riding a motorcycle, which is far more mentally and physically exhausting than driving a rally car, that’s for sure.
“It took me a couple of days to get my head around the navigation but once I’d got the hang of it, I really started to enjoy the event. The bike was fantastic – it literally came out of the showroom, had the long-range fuel tank and navigation equipment fitted and we were off. We changed the air filter and the oil every night and that was it – it ran perfectly throughout the event, which is amazing for a production bike.

“The atmosphere on the event was incredible, particularly in the bivouac. While everyone is in competition, they also look out for each other and there is a real sense of camaraderie. I am so happy to have been part of this year’s event.”


latest news
Alister McRae to drive in the Rally Legends in San Marino
Alister Mcrae on the grid for Extreme Rallycross Championship
Event-winning Subaru to return for 2016 Race to the Sky
McRae wins Repco Race to the Sky in Possum’s Subaru
McRae takes Race to the Sky
McRae to pilot famous Vantage Subaru at Repco Race to the Sky
McRae back for 2015 Otago Classic Rally
Alister McRae returning from Australia for the McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill
Alister to race in the Boucles Du Bastogne 2015
Alister McRae wins class on Australasian Safari – on two wheels
Alister McRae announces entry for Alpine Rally
China Rally Longyou review 2012
China Rally Longyou preview 2012
Hokkaido Rally 2012 preview
Malaysian Rally 2012 review
Malaysian Rally 2012 preview
Rally New Zealand preview
International Rally of Queensland review
International Rally of Queensland preview
Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonie review
New Caladonia Rally Preview
International Rally of Whangarei review
Brother International Rally of Whangarei preview
Frustrating Rally Sweden
Alister to compete in the APRC and Super 2000 World Rally Championship in 2012
Team Prodakar F1 Racing Energy Drink announces the comeback of Alister Mcrae for the Dakar
China Rally Longyou review
China Rally Longyou preview
Rally of Scotland review
Rally of Scotland preview
Rally Hokkaido review
Rally Hokkaido preview
Teaching youths safe driving habits
Inaugrual Scottish Motorsport Festival revs into action next month
Alister hits the podium again!
International Rally of Whangarei preview
Rally de Nouvelle Caledonie preview
International Rally of Queensland review
International Rally of Queensland preview
McRae confident this time around
Q & A with Alister McRae
PROTON drivers delighted with Satria Neo S2000 upgrades
Alister Wins in China!
RACMSA Rally of Scotland Review
PROTON flies in Queensland
Alister McRae starts this week’s International Rally of Queensland
An inspired 2nd Place for Alister in the Rally of Whangarei
Alister ready take on the Kiwis
The Ypres Rally
PROTON to start IRC campaign on Geko Ypres Rally
Japan Rally Report
Facebook Gallery of Alister in Japan
Rally Hokkaido preview
Malaysian Rally review
McRae leads Malaysian Rally at end of Day 1
Atkinson joins McRae at Proton
Alister and Proton Completes Shakedown For Rally Indonesia
Alister McRae to drive Proton S2000 in 2010 IRC and APRC
Alisters Dakar race car features in the latest Car Magazine
Alister McRae takes excellent podium finish on home event
McRae and Proton get off to a great start in Scotland
Busy two weeks for Alister McRae
Alister McRae upbeat following frustration in Indonesia
Rally Indonesia Update
Alister McRae back in manufacturer seat for Rally Indonesia
Podium Finish For Alister at The Targa West
Targa West Update
Alister is confirmed for Rallyday 09 at Castle Combe
Alister to race in the 2009 Targa West Rally
Otago Rally - Blown engine spoils the party...
McRae hot favourite for Otago Rally
The world's fastest driving instructor
Alister Finishes The Dakar
Interview with Alister on
Alister heads to Argentina for the Dakar 2009 with the McRae Enduro Team
Alister takes the 2WD honours at the McRae Stages 2008
The World Champions turn out for Colin - McRae Stages Rally 2008
Alister McRae dominates Targa West
Alister set for rallying ‘at home’ on Targa West
The New McRae Enduro at The Rally Show - Chatsworth
Four McRae Enduro Team led by Dakar expert Chris Leyds
Rally of Lithgow 3rd May 2003
Lithgow gets McRae entry
Mazda wins Targa Tasmania – 2WD Showroom
Mazda3 MPS takes 4WD Scalps at Targa
Mazda Tightens Grip on Targa Title
Mazda’s Targa Team Moves up the Leaderboard
Mazda’s Targa Attack off to a Flying Start
Class 1-2 for Mazda in Targa Prologue
Mazda Unveils Targa Tassie Devils
Mazda’s Star Co-drivers Complete Targa Tussle
McRae and Mazda Combine for Targa Attack
Alister launches Proflex Australasia
McRae legacy continues at The Race of Champions
Jimmy McRae wins Classic Class of MSA British Historic Rally Championship
Dream start ends in disappointment for Alister McRae in New Zealand
Alister third in group N after day one in New Zealand
Extra support boosts Alister McRae’s Rally New Zealand challenge
Alister set to debut new McRae Enduro rally car as Baja GB course car
Alister McRae returns to WRC on Rally New Zealand
Jimmy McRae is the Master
Mcrae Enduro – All New Cross-Country Rally Car
Promising start for Alister in New Zealand
Alister McRae heads south for New Zealand Rally Championship
The Scottish Motorsport Show 2007
Alister McRae launches brand-new WAP site
Encouraging debut for Alister McRae in Toyota Super 2000
Sting in the tail after first stage win for Alister McRae
Encouraging first day for Alister McRae on Wales Rally GB
Alister ready to debut Toyota Super 2000 after successful test
Jimmy McRae wins RAC for Stobart
RED and Toyota South Africa choose Alister McRae as development driver
Alister McRae wins ‘family’ rally
Jimmy McRae Back to New Zealand
One-round rest from Chinese Championship for Alister
Steep learning curve for Jimmy McRae
Hard charging then a soft head at Lurgan Park
A walk in the park for Alister and Jimmy McRae?
Determined drive nets team points in China
Frustrating start in China
New car but hopefully same result in China
Alister wins Zulu Rally
Alister leads Zulu Rally
Alister ready for new challenge
Disappointing Pirelli for Alister
Alister ready for action
Battle of the Champions
Alister takes on Irish Mk11 Escorts
In the company of rallyings foremost family
Alister leads Chinese Rally Championship
Alister joins British challenge in China
Alister enters South Africa's bid for the WRC
Father and son perform at Autosport International
Colin & Alister drive in tribute to Richard Burns
Colin & Alister return to Castle Combe Rally Day
Great disappointment for Alister
Alister given Racing Opportunity
Battle of the Mk 2's
Alister dominates Buggy race
McRae's support Charity Stages
Alister returns to Spanish Rallysprint series
Alister works in Corporate Market
Mechanical failure ends Alister's PWRC Bid
Alister dominates PWRC
Alister leads the way
McRae on course to become world champion
Car improvements boost McRae's title bid
Alister sets up World Championship title challenge
Alister challenges for PWRC lead in Corsica
Alister takes Group N Victory
Positive Result for McRae in Germany
McRae’s asphalt challenge
Q+A - Alister McRae