Tuthill Porsche has shared a preview of its upcoming documentary on their 2013 Kenyan Airways East African Safari Classic Rally, building and prepping a squad of 911s for he largest-ever private rally effort. This two-minute trailer shows the torture of Classic Safari: revered by drivers as the world’s toughest test of man and machine. Don’t miss the full length documentary, coming to the Tuthill Porsche Youtube channel on 10 February.
Welcome to issue 301 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your favourite free source of rally entertainment!
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Yours in Rallying,
Evan Rothman (Editor) and Eva Kovkova (Photojournalist)
In the endurance struggle that is the East African Safari Classic Rally, with just one day and three competitive sections to go, the point is normally reached when one would expect to find competitors separated by whole fractions of an hour and looking to conserve their positions in the classification not to mention preserving their cars. For many competitors, this is the case but, up front, the situation is that the two leaders are separated by seconds and are still going for victory ‘hammer and tongs’.
Stig Blomqvist left Naivasha this morning in his Tuthill Porsche 911 with a scanty lead of fifty-nine seconds over Ian Duncan in his Ford Capri V8 and promptly made his mark by setting a fastest time on the first competitive section that was three minutes and three seconds faster than his pursuer who suffered a puncture.
But then Blomqvist’s luck took a downturn and he sustained a puncture and lost four minutes and eight seconds to Duncan who promptly moved back into the front with a lead of six seconds over the Swedish, ex-World Rally Champion. On the third and last competitive section of the day, it was Duncan who again had the advantage and extended his lead – by another three seconds to a total of nine seconds.
Behind these two, there have been few changes. The Horseys had been looking to make progress themselves on the man ahead of them, Steve Perez in the Amigos Datsun 260Z who had started the day more than six minutes ahead of them. However they are still over three minutes behind Perez and another Kenyan crew Rai and Chager have made up some time and are now only 16 seconds behind them.
By virtue of a sterling performance on the first section, Gregoire de Mevius put his BMA Porsche 911 back into the top ten by gobbling up the thirteen seconds that he lagged behind Phillipe van Heurck also Porsche mounted. He then led van Heurck by more then two and half minutes. He repeated the performance on the second section going two and half minutes quicker than Kenyan, Manvir Baryan in a Porsche 911 to grab ninth place overall, albeit by a mere five seconds. At the end of the day, he was promoted to eighth by Geoff Bell’s misfortunes in his Datsun 260Z who broke his differential on the third section. However de Mevius stands little hope of advancing further without major trouble striking those ahead of him since he lies almost twenty-three minutes behind John Lloyd in his Viking Autosport Ford Escort Mk2 in seventh place.
Friday is the last day of competition and see the remaining crews tackle three stages all very similar to the three that started this rally eight days ago last Thursday. These three sections total one hundred and ninety kilometres and there will be several prayers being offered up tonight by the surviving crews : freedom from mechanical problems, no punctures and a good clean run back to the Whitesands Hotel outside Mombasa. But all eyes will be on Duncan and Blomqvist as they struggle for victory in Ford Capri and Porsche 911 respectively.
Provisional Overall Classification:
01) Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Ford Capri) – 15h 10m 06s
02) Stig Blomqvist/Staffan Parmander (Tuthill Porsche 911) – 15h 10m 15s
03) Gerard Marcy/Stephane Prevot (Tuthill Porsche 911) – 15h 39m 42s
04) Steve Perez/John Millington (Datsun 260Z) – 16h 01m 30s
05) David Horsey/Alex Horsey (Tuthill Porsche 911) – 16h 04m 39s
06) Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager (Porsche 911) – 16h 04m 55s
07) John Lloyd/Adrian Cavenagh (Ford Escort RS1800) – 16h 16m 42s
08) Gregoire De Mevius/Alain Guehennec (Porsche 911) 16h 41m 15s
09)Manvir Baryan/Jaswinder Chanda (Porsche 911) – 16h 45m 23s
10) Patrick Van Heurck/Alain Lopes (Tuthill Porsche 911) – 16h 51m 52s
Photos by mcklein.de
On the sixth day of this epic rally, the battle between local rally hero Ian Duncan and former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist continued on the East African Safari Classic Rally. The Kenyan crew have re-taken the lead they had after day three in their Ford Capri and are now 2 minutes 44 seconds ahead of Blomqvist in a Race4Health Porsche 911 on a day that brought rain for some but not all crews.
Blomqvist left Amboseli leading the rally but promptly fell behind Kenyan driver Duncan on the first section of the day. Well, promptly might not be the best description since this section was 110 km long – a pretty average section length on this endurance rally. Duncan set fastest time by a minute from Blomqvist, giving him a lead of just ten seconds over the Swedish crew. After suffering driveshaft problems on day four and dropping down the leader board to fifteenth place, Gregoire de Mevius was still driving hard and set third fastest time in his BMA Porsche 911, whilst Gérard Marcy continued to post consistent times and remained in third place but over fourteen minutes behind the top two.
This long first section proved problematic for the top Datsun cars. Geoff Bell lost over half an hour in his Amigos 260Z when his fan stopped working and the car overheated, giving his well-earned fourth place to team mate Steve Perez, who was now twenty minutes behind Marcy in the overall rankings. Bell and co-driver Challen stopped to re-wire the Datsun’s fan and were kindly donated water by de Mevius, Perez and the Horseys, as well as the local Masai. The other Amigos Datsun 260Z of Andrew Siddal encountered problems in this section, apparently breaking a driveshaft flange and having to wait to be towed out of the section. Meanwhile the Kenyan father-and-son crew of David and Alex Horsey moved up into fifth in their Tuthill prepared Porsche 911. The Kenyan crew of Onkar Rai and Baldev Chager had incurred penalties for late check-in after yesterday’s service to parc fermé so they had dropped down the field but, with Chager behind the wheel, set sixth fastest time on this long section.
Unfortunately rain hit this section later in the day and many of the crews further down the field encountered rain and muddy going. For the last cars in the rally convoy, they found bad mud conditions and some had to turn around to exit the section back to the start.
Duncan managed to extend his lead over Blomqvist to over a minute on the fifty kilometre second competitive section south of Nairobi that started from Kajiado Town by setting fastest time on this section. Clearly Bell’s setback on the first section had fired up his own cylinders as he set joint fastest time on this section with Duncan. Marcy remained in third with a substantial gap to fourth placed Steve Perez in his Datsun 260Z. However, close on Perez’s heels were the Horseys in their Porsche 911 only two minutes behind. Third fastest time on this second section was set by Kenyan crew Cavenagh and Tundo in their Viking Ford Escort. They have been plagued by problems throughout this eight-day rally but were still driving hard. Their Viking team mate, John Lloyd had moved up to sixth place by setting consistent times and pulling ahead of the Kronos Vintage Porsche 911 of Phillippe Vandromme.
The final sixty kilometre section of the day ran around the back of the Ngong Hills and past the Suswa volcano. Fastest time on this section was clocked by Geoff Bell again, despite getting caught behind the Horseys who were down on power throughout the section. Perhaps it was the sight of Bjorn Waldegård, now spectating, who gave the Datsun crew the thumbs up that provided that little bit of extra motivation. Duncan set second fastest time but over a minute slower than Bell whilst Blomqvist met some traffic in the last section and put in the fourth fastest time. Cavenagh and Tundo set another third fastest time on this section. They had a relatively clean run today, although they did confess that in today’s first section they had a brief stop in the same mud hole and against the same tree where they had met problems two days earlier on the rally.
This gave Duncan’s Capri a lead of 2 minutes 44 seconds at the end of the day over Blomqvist’s Porsche 911 with Marcy about 17 minutes behind the Swedish crew in third place in a Porsche 911. There is another wide 22 minutes gap to fourth placed Perez’s Datsun 260Z. The Kenyan crew of David and Alex Horsey have continued to swap driving in a Porsche 911 and the strategy seems to be working as they are now in fifth place just behind Perez. Despite a few hiccups in the first section of the day (see quotes below), John Lloyd is in a well-earned sixth place in a Ford Escort.
Tomorrow’s route takes the crews on a loop centred on Naivasha with four sections. They start with a new section for the rally run in Kedong Ranch that is also run as the last section of the day. The second section from Suswa has been cancelled and the third Soysambu section is contained within the Delamere ranch.
Top Ten Provisional Leaderboard:
01) Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Ford Capri) – 11hr50m55s
02) Stig Blomqvist/Staffan Parmander (Tuthill Porsche 911) – 11hr53m39s
03) Gerard Marcy/Stephane Prevot (Tuthill Porsche 911) – 12hr10m48s
04) Steve Perez/John Millington (Datsun 260Z) – 12h33m18s
05) David Horsey/Alex Horsey (Tuthill Porsche 911) – 12hr35m06s
06) John Lloyd/Adrian Cavenagh (Ford Escort RS1800) – 12hr41m17s
07) Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager (Porsche 911) – 12hr42m13s
08) Philip Vendromme/Frederic Vivier (Porsche 911) – 12hr42m22s
09) Geoff Bell/Tim Challen (Datsun 260Z) – 12hr44m10s
10) Manvir Baryan/Jaswinder Chana (Porsche 911) – 13hr05m56s
Photos by mcklein.de