It is now just a few days to the start of the
2017 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally.
throughout Kenya and Tanzania, the biggest names in
African rallying are putting the final touches to their
classic rally chargers, ready to go head-to-head with
Europe’s most respected historic rally teams across the
plains of Kenya and Tanzania at the end of November.
East African Safari Rally is still a truly heroic event in
the hearts and minds of the global rallying community,”
says Pipi Renu, General Manager of the Safari Classic
“It is a real
privilege to evoke the memory of the greatest drivers and
adventurers of that period by running the world’s most
challenging historic rally every two years in their
Safari Classic Rally includes several small but
significant tweaks to the rally regulations, which have
encouraged many new European competitors to ship their
cars to Africa for the nine-day event.
Ian Duncan testing his Ford Capri recently in
Power steering is
now permitted on the grounds of comfort and safety, and the
cut-off age for cars has been stretched to 1985.
wheel-drive and turbocharged cars remain ruled out for safety
and balance of performance reasons, extending the age range
brings new cars to Safari, including the Group B Mazda RX-7 of
respected Le Mans and Dakar Rally competitor, Frenchman Philippe
Also coming from
France is the Daunat Historique squad of Citroen SMs. Fitted
with racing Maserati engines, these idiosyncratic machines will
be real crowd pleasers amongst the thousands of spectators that
always line the Safari Classic Rally route.
“We’ve clocked up
thousands of kilometres and spent several weeks surveying the
route for this year’s rally, including many stages which have
never been rallied before,” notes Renu.
“Since its inception
in 2003, Safari Classic has been about man and machine tackling
the toughest terrain, and the virgin stages take away some of
the perceived advantage held by local experts. Completing this
year’s Safari Classic Rally will be a real feather in the cap
for all who take part.”
As to who will win,
that is anyone’s guess. All the top teams have been testing
their cars and ironing out the last gremlins, and the entry list
is awash with highly competitive Ford Escorts, Porsche 911s and
Datsuns of all shapes and sizes, but Safari is always entirely
unpredictable: rallies have been lost in the last ten
The battle is sure
to rage hard from the start at Whitesands Mombasa on November 23rd.