•This year’s East African Safari Classic Rally will be run mostly in Tanzania around Arusha and Tanga featuring historic stages like Longido in Tanzania and Maungu in Kenya.
•The event is being sponsored by among other Safaricom, Vivo Energy, Saravo Hotels, DT Dobie and Bidco Africa.
After two days of a shakedown on the 9km Mombasa Cement Factory grounds at Vipingo, drivers now embark on a mammoth 4500km in Kenya and Tanzania.
This year’s East African Safari Classic Rally will be run mostly in Tanzania around Arusha and Tanga featuring historic stages like Longido in Tanzania and Maungu in Kenya. The event is being sponsored by among other Safaricom, Vivo Energy, Saravo Hotels, DT Dobie and Bidco Africa.
Baldev Chager and Ian Duncan lead the home assault against former world champion Stig Blomqvist. Chager, who is also the 2019 Kenya National Rally Championship leader, will pilot one of the three Kabras Sugar Racing Porsche 911 while Duncan has a new machine in Rover Vitesse. Austrian Roger Samuelsson will team up with Robin Friberg in a Porsche 911.
Legendary Arusha-based industrialist Jayant Shah will team up with Kenya’s Arshard Khan in a Porsche 911. Jayant has participated in all Safari Classic events since the inception in 2003. Gilberto Sandretto of Italy is being co-driven by lady legendary navigator Fabrizia Pons in a Porsche 911.
This year’s event will give drivers a true taste of muddy conditions already experienced on the local series. But Raju Chaggar, the event’s clerk of the course, said they have a good plan if rains prevail. The rain right across central and East Africa has a nasty front coming in from the Indian Ocean. The main rally will take place from today to December 6.
The 2019 Safari Classic will be the ninth edition of the world’s toughest historic motorsport event. The 10-day rally offers competitors an incredible opportunity to enjoy the epic landscapes of East Africa as they journey between exceptionally challenging stages, some of which can be over 150km long.
Chaggar said the rally will be run on open roads with the spectacular African wildlife adding to the Safari Classic Rally’s unrivalled attractions. Several stages are held in some of East Africa’s most famous wildlife preserves and the event also partners with local agencies to support conservation and carbon-neutral initiatives.
“The Safari Classic Rally is unique in the world,” said event’s chairman, Raju Kishinani.
“No other event allows competitors to truly test the limits of historic rallying by racing flat-out for thousands of kilometres through the breathtaking grandeur of East Africa. We are honoured to preserve the spirit and excitement of the original Safari Rally and look forward to welcoming competitors from all over the world to our 2019 event.”
Today’s CS 1 is a 76km stretch from Mackinon road to Maungu 1. The stage starts on a very fast wide road with adverse bends and blind brows covering 42km. For the next 20km, the road becomes narrow in places and could prove to be very challenging if wet as the terrain changes from the usual red soil to black cotton. After 62km, the road opens up onto a fast open road to the finish control. According to Chaggar, CS 2 is a 77km run from Kirumbi to Teita Gate.
“The beginning 36km of CS2 is new to the classic and an absolute challenge for the crews. The first 10km begins on a fast twisty road, with many hidden holes and ruts over brows.
From 14km into the stage, this is where navigation will be critical as crews traverse through very narrow thick bush with blind bends. The track continues into a typical Tsavo thick bush, which is extremely twisty. With broken tree stumps scattered all over, crews must be very cautious here and not damage the car or puncture.
1.Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Porsche 911 Kenya)
2.Stig Blomqvist/Jorgen Fornander (Porsche 911 Sweden)
3.Ian Duncan/Anthony Nielsen (Rover Vitesse Kenya)
4.Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (Porsche 911 Kenya)
5.Tejvir RaI/Gavin Laurance (Porsche 911 Kenya)
6.Roger Samuelsson/Robin Friberg (Porsche 911 Austrian)
7.Philip Kadoorie/Ryan Champion (Porsche 911 Britain)
8.Aslam Khan/Imran Khan (Porsche 911 Kenya)
9.Kris Rosenberger/Nicola Bleicher (Porsche 911 Austria)
10.Eugenio Amos/Robert Mometti (Porsche 911 Italy)
11.Jayant Shah/Arshard Khan (Porsche 911 Tanzania)
12.Gilberto Sandretto/Fabrizia Pons (Porsche 911 Italy)
13.Joey Ghose/Stephane Prevot (Nissan 240RS Oman)
14.Rommy Bhamra/Harvey Jutley (Datsun 260Z Kenya)
15.Bernhard Kessel/Ronny Kessel (Porsche 911 German)
16.Joe Hayes/Kate Hayes (Porsche 911 America)
17.Trey Lockey/JuliaSvensson (Porsche 911 Sweden)
18. Renee Brinkerhoff/Juliette Brinkerhoff (Porsche 356 America)
19.Scott Armstrong/Harpal Singh Sudle (Datsun 160J British).
20. Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Ford Escort British)