This stretch of outback track, about five hundred back-breaking miles through South Australia's Flinders Ranges, is expected to be the key test in the Australian route of the marathon.
car along creekbed
TRAVEL SHOT OVER CREEK
DRIVER CHANGES GEARS
CAR THROUGH WATER
BOD SPEAKS INTO MIKE
CAR THROUGH DRY CREEK
CAR TO SIGNPOST
MS SIGNPOST PAN TO CAR
CAR OVER CATTLE GRID
Car in film is survey car from the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (similar Britain's car association).
Driving experts in the survey party said it would be impossible to get within 5-10 miles an hour of the averages laid down for this leg of journey.
Fil taken 300 miles north of Adelaide, capital of South Australia in the Fl inders Ranges -- a rugged mountain/outback area.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: This stretch of outback track, about five hundred back-breaking miles through South Australia's Flinders Ranges, is expected to be the key test in the Australian route of the marathon.
The area abounds in numerous washes, dry creekbeds, and eroded surfaces.
When filmed, conditions in this rugged terrain were as near-perfect as possible.
But the survey vehicle was unable to maintain the high averages set down for the race, except for short runs.
The survey car was difficult to handle, even for its practised driver, despite reduced speed.
The impossibly-high averages have been set to sort out "the man from the boys", and no-one is expected to get through this stretch without incurring penalty points.
Bone-dry now, this region will be all but impossible if more than half an inch of rain falls before or during the race.
If it stays dry, axles, suspension and tyres are bound to suffer heavily.
In addition to natural hazards, there are hundreds of gates to be opened and closed, occasional transports to block the narrow tracks, and even the odd trigger happy "cocky" who resents having dust thrown up by speeding cars.