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FLASHBACK -- Parmander and Sven Blomqvist of Sweden during the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally 2013. | Coastweek

FLASHBACK -- Parmander and Sven Blomqvist of Sweden during the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally 2013.

Swedish ace Bromqvist now seeded first for Safari Classic Rally

by Kimathi Kamau NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The 1984 World Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist, will be first off the ramp at the 2017 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally that is scheduled for Nov. 23 to Dec. 1.

Defending champion Blomqvist was placed first on the seeded entry list released by organizers East African Safari Rally (EASR) Limited in Nairobi on Friday.

The "Flying Swede" will lead over 30 drivers out of the starting ramp during the eighth edition of the event that will straddle rugged terrain in Kenya and Tanzania.

Carl "Flash" Tundo, son of veteran Safari Rally driver Frank Tundo, is seeded second on the star-studded list which also has Baldev Singh Chager and two-time champion Ian Duncan in third and fourth. The elder Tundo is placed 16th in a Triumph TR7.

Geoff Bell (Datsun 260Z) from South Africa is fifth and will be navigated by his experienced local navigator, Timothy Challen.

Bell will followed by Ford Escort RS 1800 Argentine driver Jorge Perez Companc with Richard Jackson reading the notes (in a Tuthil Porsche) with the able Mazda RX7 of Frenchman Pilippe Gache in seventh.

Jackson has entered the event in a Tuthill Porsche and will be navigated by Ryan Champion who recently tested the vehicle at the Welsh forest with Blomqvist.

Kenya’s star driver Raaji Singh Bharij will team up with Rajay Sehmi in ninth.

He will drive a locally built Porsche 911.

Onkar Singh Rai is seeded 10th. He will team up with Gareth Dawe who also his navigator in the Kenyan National Rally Championship (KNRC).

This year’s Safari Classic Rally includes several small but significant changes to the rally regulations, which have encouraged many new European competitors to ship their cars to Africa for the nine-day event.

Power steering is now permitted on the grounds of comfort and safety, and the cut-off age for cars has been stretched to 1985.



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