Björn Waldegård firar 70 år idag Grattis. Firar med att köra Safari Rallyt.
Bjorn Waldegard to jet in next week for the Kenya Airways East Africa Safari Classic Rally
Multiple Safari Rally winner and world champion, Bjorn Waldegard, is among the foreign drivers expected to jet in next week ahead of Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally slated to run from November 21-29.
Also expected in the country next week from Sweden is former World Rally champion, Stig Blomqvist. Team Tido from Sweden has entered six Porsche 911’s built by Tuthill Porsche with defending Safari Classic champion Waldegard and Blomqvist as team drivers.
According to the event’s general manager, Ashok Bhalla, all cars are in the country after the last ship docked at the Port of Mombasa on Sunday carrying three Porsche 911s from Europe. The three Porsche 911s belong to all-German crews of Josef Jobst/Juergen Bertl and Bernhard Kessel/Ronny Kessel as well as Josef Huber/Yves Huber from Switzerland.
By November 13, all the rally staff will be at Sarova Whitesands and documentation for the crews will start on November 15 with scrutineering of the rally cars commencing on November 19.
The Mk1 Escort RS that Aziz Tejpar drove in the 2011 event will be driven by Karim Wissanji and Yasser Slatch. The Escort has been completely rebuilt by RPM Motorsport under the guidance of its proprietor, Baz Cannon, a man with more than 20 years experience of Escort rally cars. The sponsor is Sopa Lodges and the Escort already stands ready to rally in its stunning new livery.
In the first week of July, Viking Motorsport dispatched two of its four cars entered in the Safari Classic to go for pre-rally testing in East Africa. These two Ford Escort RS 1600 Mk2s are the ones to be driven by Kenya’s Alastair Cavenagh and Jorge Perez during the event.
Meanwhile, Safari Classic secretariat is set to temporarily relocate to its rally headquarters at Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel Resort this weekend. Documentation for the crews will start on November 15 with scrutineering of the rally cars commencing on November 19.
The final activity before the rally gets underway on November 21, will be the drivers’ briefing on November 20.
However, Ashok is worried that heavens might open up during the period the Safari Classic.
“It has started to rain in some parts of the country especially Naivasha, which has been getting regular showers for the last ten days. And for the next six days, the forecast for Nairobi and Mombasa is “scattered thunderstorms” though they are due to clear up by next Wednesday. However, it is best to remember that the muddy conditions of the Safari Classic in 2011 were due to rain that had fallen previously and filled the many mud-holes and river crossings that feature on the Safari route,” explained Ashok.
In Nairobi, it’s been a beehive of activity for the forthcoming event with the briefing for the key marshals, timekeepers and officials conducted on Riverside Drive in Nairobi.
A total of fifty officials were taken through the agenda by the rally manager, Ashok Bhalla. Majority of the officials have Safari Rally experience that goes back as far as the 20th century for some of them.
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