Although the clash between the authorities in Tanzania and the organisers of the East African Safari has resulted in the rally being routed within Kenya and Uganda only this year, the going will be as tough as ever if a rough map of the itinerary which I have seen is anything to go by. Residents of Tanzania (and that includes foreign residents) have been banned from taking part, but we did hear earlier that Bert Shankland, the expatriate Scot from Dar-es-Salaam, is adamant that he will compete for his third win in a Peugeot.
Neither Ford nor B.M.C. are going this year, and the possibility that Rootes might he following up their Marathon win with a two-car assault in East Africa has come to naught. A free entry was reserved for them, as Marathon winners, but although drivers and mechanics were keen to defend their title the boardroom was a little more cautious. A defeat in Africa would have clouded the London-Sydney glory, I must admit, and the Safari is not one of the most predictable of rallies.
The HF Lancia team is to send three Fulvias, with full works backing, and among the other Europeans will be John Sprinzel, who is joining the Peugeot team for this one event, Simo Lampinen in a factory Saab, taking up the entry donated to the winner of the R.A.C. Rally, and probably Bengt Söderstrom in a German Ford looked after by the East African dealers. This could be the year in which the monopoly of local drivers is broken.—G. P.