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