BRUCE Garland's dreams of a top-20 finish at the Dakar Rally suffered a blow last week after he hit a rock on day five of the 15-day marathon.
The veteran racer from Maraylya was holding on to 42nd place overall before a head-on collision cost him four spots in the outright results.
Garland said the accident happened when he slid wide on a corner and hit a big rock causing bolts on the rear right hub to break.
"We didn't have enough spare bolts to do the job," Garland said.
"Harry [Suzuki] (Garland's teammate) and I did some bush engineering, but we could only limp out of the stage and we lost about an hour."
Day five of the rally proved to be a dangerous stage for support vehicles as well when two men died after smashing into a taxi near Peru's border with Chile.
The incident was a timely reminder for Garland who fractured his vertebra after crashing out in 2011.
An Isuzu Motorsports team spokeswoman said Garland was driving the first few rounds cautiously but was starting to settle into the good rhythm.
"[Stage five] was good [as it drove] through river beds and gorges and finished on some high speed dunes," Garland said.
"[It's] like what we have in the Australasian Safari."
The race towards Santiago heats up this week with challenging sand dune driving through north-western Argentina.
Drivers will then cross back into Chile for some of the longest and most enduring stages of the rally before finishing in Santiago on Saturday.