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THE SAFARI CLASSIC AT THE HALFWAY MARK

February 14, 2022

The 10th edition of the East African Safari Classic is on a rest and service day after four hectic days. The rally has traversed Kenya, from Naivasha to Nakuru, Nanyuki and then on to Amboseli. It restarts early tomorrow in Amboseli before progressing to the Taita Hills and Watamu.

It is turning into a battle of brands and nationalities, effectively the Porsches against “the rest” and the Kenyans against the internationals. The balance of power has kept shifting with the international entries seizing many stage wins, notably Ken Block with five out of eleven, but the Kenyans are showing greater consistency, with Baldev Chager being the leader for the longest time. However, Patrik Sandell from Sweden stole the lead on the curtailed SS11 to restart the rally tomorrow from the front.

Notable losses have been Flash Tundo from Kenya and Geoff Bell in his mighty Datsun 240Z. Both are continuing the event but, having failed stages will not be included in the final classification. This rule means that the rally is wide open –if any of the front runners fail a stage they will be excluded from the final results: it’s anyone’s to win.

All the crews have said that the dry event has been tough and very very rough –the last four days promise more of the same. Therefore, heading into the last four days, the key players seem to be Sandell and Chager at the very front in Porsches, chased hard by Kenya’s Ian Duncan in the Rover, defending title holder Kris Rosenberger in his Porsche and Kenya’s Piers Daykin driving a Datsun 240Z in his very first rally as a driver despite years of navigator experience.

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