East African Safari Classic Rally

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Mombasa, Kenya

Wet weather on a Safari Rally is seldom welcomed by the competitors, whose vocabulary will quickly include such phrases as ‘mud holes’, ‘black cotton’ and ‘flash floods’. The winner of the last really wet Safari, the one held in 1977, was Björn Waldegård and so it was no surprise to find him winning the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally when the weather turned nasty in November.

Winning it in a Porsche 911 also fulfilled some unfinished business from the ’70s when Waldegård had tried several times to claim the Safari for the Porsche factory and so nearly succeeded. Since then, he has won the Safari three times with Toyotas, and the Safari Classic in 2007 in a Ford Escort. But to win with a 911 was something special. On the two occasions Waldegård has won the Safari Classic it’s been a family affair with his son, Mathias, guiding him to victory.

It didn’t pour solidly throughout the nine days and more than 4000km (2500 miles) of the Safari Classic, but the rain was always around and its effect was to create mud holes and stretches of the infamous black cotton that is worse to drive on than ice. The 46 cars that started the rally in Mombasa were the epitome of the preparer’s art with their shining coachwork, but at the finish, after 1740km (1080m) of competitive sections, they all looked much the worse for wear and universally brown. Even Waldegård hadn’t escaped, for he had lost the lead on the fifth competitive day when his Tuthillprepared Porsche slid sideways into a truck that was occupying more than half a particular mud hole.

From the start 2009 winner Ian Duncan (Ford Capri 3.0) took the lead, but within two sections Waldegård overtook him, while another former World Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist, saw his chances knocked back when he broke the axle on his Ford Escort RS1800. There was a strong Porsche entry and at the end of the first day seven of the German cars were in the top 10. Waldegård’s most serious challenger was Grégoire de Mévius in a Kronos 911 who, by the end of day two, lay just three seconds behind the leader. One quick time the next morning and de Mévius was ahead, but then his engine stopped on the third section and he lost six minutes. Fellow Belgian Gérard Marcy was keeping his Porsche in third place despite a lack of top-end power, while Duncan broke some wheel studs and dropped back to 22nd overall.

The conditions did not favour the low starting numbers since once a car was stuck in a flood, a ditch or a mud hole, then others tended to suffer the same fate. This was the case for Steve Perez in his Datsun 260Z, but, as with many others, he found that mechanical problems were also costing time, in his case with a misfire and broken rear control arm. When Waldegård hit his truck and lost 40 minutes of road time repairing the Porsche’s rollcage, it was Geoff Bell (Datsun 260Z) who took the lead. Waldegård chased the Datsun relentlessly over the next two days, and got back in front despite a puncture with one day left. Also in a frantic race to catch up was Blomqvist, who set several fastest times on competitive sections to finish third, just ahead of Marcy’s BM-Autosport Porsche.

The first half of the rally had been enlivened by the presence of extreme sports star Travis Pastrana, who drove a Tuthill Porsche navigated by Fabrizia Pons. Though a wet Safari was very different to his normal experiences, the American set two fastest times and was sixth at the end of day two before losing road time with brake problems. Although only able to stay for four days, Pastrana said: This rally is absolutely epic – one of the best experiences of my life.”

Related articles

Related products