Press Release: Tuesday, 26th July 2011
The Germans are coming !
Three of the German crews that are entered on the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally got together last week for a combined test session.
The test took place in an open cast mine called Profen near Leipzig that is commonly used by rally raid teams to prepare their cars for the Dakar and similar events. The area offers everything from sand to water splashes, gravel, rocks as well as dips and bumps.
The three drivers – Franz Wunderlich, Gunther Kronseder and Josef Jobst – all come from Walter Röhrl’s home town of Regensburg and, by further coincidence, they are all driving cars manufactured in Stuttgart. Wunderlich will drive a Tuthill prepared Porsche 911 with Klaus-Peter Kristek, Kronseder a Mercedes 450 SLC with Gerd Petzold, and Jobst an Autosport Kotek prepared Porsche 911 with Hans Griefenstein. In fact this Kotek prepared car is the same 911 with which Björn Waldegård finished second overall on the last EASC in 2009. It is one of team of three 911s prepared and run by Jiri Kotek with the help of Jürgen Bertl.
Kronseder also owns an original ex-Opel Euro Händler Team Manta 400 that he drove recently at the Eifel Rallye Festival.
Franz Wunderlich is a relative newcomer to the sport and only got involved in rallying in the last few years. He bought a Porsche Targa and first drove it in regularity events on tarmac roads. His first proper rally was a tarmac rally in Majorca. This test session was in fact the first time that he had driven in anger on gravel and thus, like several drivers before him, the Safari Classic will be his first major rally.
Quote from Wunderlich: "The test near Leipzig was my first real experience on gravel and I really enjoyed it. Although we got stuck once, I think that driving on loose surfaces is better than everything I have ever done before. The movement of the car is much more gentle and going sideways is just so easy. Our Tuthill Porsche ran pretty well during the test, we just have small things to improve like the windscreen wipers that did not quite do their job properly. We will probably do another two-day test with Tuthill in Wales before the Safari Classic to get more experience with the car on gravel."
Making a splash ! Franz Wunderlich tests the Tuthill Porsche 911
Gunther Kronseder with his Mercedes 450SLC in the sand.
Josef Jobst jumps the Autosport Kotek
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