"The race is the last round of the World Championship for International Cross Country Rallies. I hadn't competed in enough races to be a contender for the championship, but I did finish 7th Outright (out of 116 starters). I also finished 2nd in the Production Class.
I had some problems with fuel during the race which cost me some time, but the biggest disadvantage was the lack of top speed compared to the factory BMW bikes (Twin cyclinder's capabale of over 200km/hr) I was riding a 600cc Husaberg, which is a fantastic bike but the top speed in the sand is more like 160km/hr so I had my work cut out trying to stay anywhere near the factory guys."
These shots of Coake really show the Berg advantages of light weight, power and handling
Andrew Coaker beginning his racing career in Australia, competing in local and national endurance and motorcross events from the age of 12, in 2001 was considered one of the brightest rising stars on the International Rally scene.
Coaker began his rallying career in 1996 when he remodelled his Endurance style motorbike himself and set off to compete in the Australian Safari. Being the youngest entrant at only 23, he came through to finish the race, with virtually no assistance, and impressive 8th outright. He was first in his class and winning 2 special stages during the event.
After his triumph in this event, Coaker decided to tackle the international rally scene. In January of 1997, he moved to the UK to be closer to the action. Since then he has participated in 15 international rallies and numerous national events. His rapid progress led Coaker to enter the prestigious Paris-Dakar Rally in 1998. From the 187 bikes that entered the event, only 55 passed the finish line (29% of the starting line up). Coaker was amongst this 29%, crossing an impressive 23rd, and first privateer.
His success in "The World's Toughest Motorsport Event", inspired Swedish motorcycle firm "HUSABERG" to offer the young Australian a 3 year factory sponsored deal. His inaugural season with Husaberg was one of frustration and celebration. His riding ability proved to be amongst the best and despite posting many top 10 stage times, Coaker was hampered by mechanical problems during Husaberg’s development year. These early problems have since been resolved, and Coaker’s latest results have once again confirmed his status as a World Class Rally rider.