THE DATSUNS left a trail of broken axles all over Kenya but Shekhar Mehta, his Violet (above) on its fifth axle, survived to take his fifth win, ahead of Walter Röhrl’s Opel Ascona 400 (below).
SAFARI first-timers rarely do well, but a most impressive first attempt performance was put up by Tony Pond and Terry Harryman who scored an excellent fourth place in their Datsun Silvia (above) even after losing about an hour regaining the road after leaving it at high speed when a steering arm broke. No less than three diminutive four-wheel-drive Subarus finished in the first ten, highest placed being that of Japanese driver Takahashi (left) who was seventh. Lying at the side of the road on the left of the picture below is the broken rear axle which had been removed from Mike Kirkland’s Datsun Silvia just south of the Taita Hills in the first leg. Behind the bush is a Datsun chase car from which the rear axle was removed in order to get Kirkland going again, eventually to finish third. Passing the scene is the locally built Range Rover prepared and driven by Rob Collinge who turned in a most impressive performance indeed to finish sixth despite breaking front axle and windscreen in the second leg when the bonnet flew open and obstructed all forward vision at a crucial moment. Chase cars, incidentally, are replica rally cars crewed by drivers and mechanics which follow competing cars so that emergency repairs can be done quickly on the spot.