Queenslander Geoff Olholm and Co-driver Jonathan Aston have cracked the top ten overall after stage 12 of the 2013 Dakar Rally.
A 17th place on the 319km stage from Fiambalá in Argentina to Copiapó in Chile was good enough to see the Aussie crew make it into tenth spot overall.
Despite struggling during the stage, Olholm was pleased with the result and is looking forward to a tough battle over the final two days.
“Fellow competitor Eric Vigeroux was stuck in a dune bowl holding up a tow rope, so we gave him a tug, then get stuck ourselves,” said Olholm.
“We then lost focus a bit and got stuck a couple more times then got a puncture.
“10th spot is up for grabs and there are a few guys behind us who drive hard, and will be fighting for it.
“The next two days have to be mistake-free for us.”
Whilst the 2013 event has been a successful one for Olholm’s team, fellow Australian Bruce Garland has struggled with a host of issues and finally dropped out with mechanical issues on stage 12.
“Sorry, we are all beyond exhaustion,” said Garland.
“No food or sleep for days. We have officially withdrawn – gutted.
“So sorry we could not get her to the finish. We picked up a bad batch of diesel in Cordoba and the trouble started then.”