EASR



video 2009

Latest News

PRINT PAGE

Press Release: Monday, 21st November 2011

ARUSHA – MOUNT MERU HOTEL – MORE MUD, WATER AND ADVENTURE
 
The vocabulary used by the competitors of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally was nothing but creative as they emerged from the first section of the second day of this epic event. Near the end of the 112 km section, which ran along the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro, competitors met with the results of a flash flood. Some crews called it a lake, others a river, whilst “a large puddle”, “a swamp” and “a hell hole” were just a few of the other phrases used to describe it. Many crews got stuck and those that did get through volunteered a variety of reasons for their success, ranging from driver talent, navigational skill and sheer luck.
 
First crew on the road, Bjorn and Mathias Waldegård, kept their Swedish cool and drove their Porsche 911 through the first competitive section with no problems. “It was a lake,” Waldegård said. “I guess it must have been flooding from the mountain and it was tough business.” However, being the first through the section can also be tough on timing and they set only fourth fastest time, pushing them down to second place overall. Second crew on the road this morning, Grégoire de Mévius and Alain Guehennec saw Waldegård successfully fording the water in the distance and decided to give it a try, making second fastest time which pulled them up to the overall lead. “I thought since we’re in the same car (Porsche 911) we should be able to make it,” de Mevius said. Meanwhile local heroes Ian Duncan and Ammar Slatch set fastest time in their Ford Capri on the section by nearly half a minute but it wasn’t enough to improve their third overall place from last night. “It was a river,” Duncan said. “I don’t know how Bjorn found his way through and it definitely kept our attention.” The other former World Rally Champion in the rally, Stig Blomqvist who is co-driven by Ana Goni, got third fastest time on the section, beating his fellow Swede Waldegård on that section and pulling him up the field.
 
However many of the other competitors did not manage to get through the water and mud with plenty getting stuck and requiring help from either locals or other competitors. Thomas Flohr and John Lloyd were both unfortunate victims, losing their sixth and ninth overall position respectively due to spending nearly two hours stuck in the section. Meanwhile X-Games hero Travis Pastrana and co-driver Fabrizia Pons found an alternative place to get stuck right at the beginning of the section. “We picked our own place,” Pastrana said. “It was a very difficult place to get stuck and it definitely took skill!” However they only lost about three or four minutes and remained in sixth place overall after the section.
 
Due to heavy rains and flooding in the night, the organisers decided to cancel the second section of the day as they felt there had been enough hardship for the competitors. Instead the cars drove to Arusha before going out on the third shorter competitive section which, at 37 km of dry route, proved to be a relatively easy ride for most crews. “That section was beautiful,” said Waldegård. “There were a few bad drifts and it was rocky but it was nice and open so you could see everything. I liked that section.” Indeed his affection for the section was reflected in his time, as he was over twenty seconds faster than De Mevius which put him back in the overall lead at the end of the second day, but only by three seconds. “That section was very nice,” commented De Mevius who is now second overall. “Small but intense and on the shorter sections we can try a bit harder.” Making up the top three was Duncan who set the third fastest time on the section and remained in third place overall at the end of the day. There is now less than two minutes between the top three, while Geoff Bell and Tim Challen are about fifteen minutes behind the leader in their Datsun 260Z, followed by Gérard Marcy and Stephane Prévot who broke a driveshaft on their Porsche 911 on a road section and are still suffering some problems with their power. Travis Pastrana remains in sixth place overall at the end of the day.
 
The first two days of the Kenya Airways East African Safari have definitely put the crews to the test and, with six days left of competitive rallying, there are bound to be more challenges on their way.
 
QUOTES FROM THE CREWS
 
1   Ian Duncan / Amaar Slatch (Ford Capri)
“It was a bit of a river in the first section – I don’t know how Bjorn found his way through and it definitely held our attention. There was a lot of powder dust in the last section but there were no problems”
 
2   Gérard Marcy / Stephane Prévot (Porsche 911)
We were stuck in the water for a few minutes on the first section but then the driveshaft broke on the road section. Our problem with the power is better but not perfect. The last section was more flowing and much better although I still have a few problems with the power”
 
3   Grégoire de Mévius / Alain Guehennec (Porsche 911)
“The first section was very nice – fast but not too rough – and then we saw the water. In the distance we saw Bjorn going through okay and since we’re in the same car we decided we could also pass. The second section was very nice – small and intense – when it’s shorter you can try a bit harder.”
 
4   Bjorn Waldegård / Mathias Waldegård (Porsche 911)
“It was a lake in the first section and I guess it was some flooding from the mountain. It was tough business. The last section was beautiful – I liked that stage – a reasonable route with a few bad drifts and rocks but it wasn’t dangerous. It was open so you could see everything. More of those please!”
 
5   Stig Blomqvist / Ana Goni (Ford Escort RS 1800)
“We made it through the hell hole in the first section and the car’s okay today. The last section was okay but it was full of rocks.”
 
6   Steve Perez / Staffan Parmander (Datsun 260Z)
“It was a little bit tricky in the mud on the first section but my very experienced Swedish co-driver gave me some verbal instructions. Apparently in that kind of conditions you need to apply the same principles as snow-mobiling and that was what we did! The last section was easy peasy in comparison. It seemed short but 37 km is a long section in England!”
 
7   Geoff Bell / Tim Challen (Datsun 260Z)
“It was quite tough in the first section and the mud was bad. We had no brakes for a long way due to overheating but then they cooled right down in the water! The last section was perfect – no problem at all.”
 
8   Alastair Cavenagh / Carl Tundo (Ford Escort Mark 2)
“We’ve had all sorts of problems today. We had a misfire at the start of the section and had to keep jump-starting it – I think we spent more time out of the car than inside the car! Amazingly we had no problem in the water. The second section was much better.”
 
9   Andrew Siddall / Mike Borissow (Datsun 260 Z)
“We had a puncture on the first, which was a driver’s fault. On the second we had a clear run without any trouble. It was our first clear run in the rally so we were almost excited!”
 
10   John Lloyd / Adrian Cavenagh (Ford Escort RS 1800)
“The end of the last section was awful! It was a flowing river when we went through and then an hour later it had dried up. We found Thomas Flohr in a mudhole and then parked ourselves next to him. We must have been there for about two hours which was two hours too many! In the last section we didn’t get stuck or lost and we didn’t have a puncture so all was good.”
 
11   Aziz Tejpar / Andy Nagi (Ford Escort Mark 1)
“It wasn’t too bad on the first section and we managed to criss-cross the swamp. It was pretty interesting!”
 
12   Simon Tysoe / Imran Khan (Ford Escort Mark 1)
“It was alright – better than yesterday when we ripped two wheels and bent an axle. We’ve changed our tactics and decided that we were trying too hard yesterday so today we’ve been taking it easy.”
From co-driver Imran Khan: “I’m trying to Africanise my driver so he will take his time. Pole Pole!”
 
14   Travis Clarke / Andrew Doig (Porsche 911) – Clarke, who is Travis Pastrana’s agent, took the place of Steven Funk for today. He also races off road cars in Mexico.
“We passed ten cars in the mud at the end of the first section and picked an excellent route.”
 
15   Jürgen Bertl / Bernhard Ettel (Porsche 911)
They had engine problems in the first section and were pulled out by photographer Reinhard Klein. The car came in with the rear bumper missing and the engine not sounding too well and cutting out at the time control.
 
16   Thomas Flohr /Didier Breton (Porsche 911)
“It wasn’t a road at the end of the first section. It was a river or a lake. We must have been stuck for about two hours. The last section was beautiful – nice and fast with no problems for us.”
 
17   Steve Troman / Michael Nutt (Porsche 911)
“I’ve got a new co-driver today as Calvin hurt his back yesterday and we decided it was best that he didn’t continue. We got a bit lost in the first section but we didn’t get stuck and Michael is doing very well.”
Michael is enjoying his new role but admitted having a few errors navigating.
 
18   Aslam Khan / Arshad Khan (Porsche 911)
“We got stuck for an hour and a half in the first section and spent a lot of time in the swap but that’s rallying! I think the Masai got a lot of work today.”
 
19   Jean-Pierre Mondron / Nicolas Gilsoul (Porsche 911)
“The first section was beautiful but like yesterday there was a surprise at the end – we spent fifteen minutes going very slowly but got through. On the second the navigation was difficult but my co-driver showed me the way very well. There are three Kronos cars in the top ten which is a good result.”
 
20   Louis Antonini / Pierre Antonini (Porsche 911)
The car suffered electronic problems last night and was towed to Arusha and didn’t compete today.
 
21   Jayant Shah / Lofty Drews (Datsun 260 Z)
“The gearbox is fixed and we did not have any problems today apart from the mud where we got stuck. There was quite a lot of pushing in that first section.”
 
22   Richard Jackson / Preston Ayres (Porsche 911)
“We didn’t go quickly on the first section but we got through. When we got to the end seven cars were stuck and we managed to find a way through which was much better than yesterday when we were stuck for 25 minutes.”
 
23   Thierry de Latre de Bosqueau / Eric Werner (Porsche 911)
“After the first section we were very happy! It was very hard work in the mud and the water. For the second section it was very nice – fast and rough but something that beginners can do.”
 
24   Travis Pastrana / Fabrizia Pons (Porsche 911)
“It was very muddy in the first section but we didn’t get stuck where everyone else did. We picked our own place right at the beginning where it took skill to get stuck! There was no mud in the last section – it was dry and nice. We caught the car in front and were in its dust for at least the last 15 kilometres but thought it best to back off.”
 
25   Mark Bentley / Edward Bentley (Ford Escort Mark 1)
“It was okay until the end and then it was a little wet! When we saw the other cars getting stuck we cut through a field and lost a few minutes. After yesterday we’re taking it dead steady.”
 
26   Marzio Kravos / Renzo Bernardi (Ferrari Dino 308 GT4)
“John Lloyd who was already stuck in the last section gave us the wrong direction and we were stuck for an hour!!”
 
27   Rommy Bamrah / Harvey Jutley (Datsun 260Z)
 “We broke our differential twice yesterday and fixed it this morning and came straight to Arusha to do the last section where there no major problems. Our third differential is finally working but it did start raining half-way through the section.”
 
28   Nick Mason / Alex Horsey (Datsun 260Z)
“The first section was fine – a great section. Our brakes went so I had to drive slowly but that probably turned out for the best! The last section was fine – we still had no brakes and a wobbly suspension so we were taking it easy. Compared to yesterday it’s been uneventful!”
 
29   Albert Michiels / Patrick de Coninck (Porsche 911)
“Everything went okay despite the mud!”
 
31   Jacques Walens / Thierry Lacroix (Porsche 911)
“Today was very good – a lot better than yesterday. This is my first ever rally so it was nice to have a better day.”
 
32   Kulwinder Sandhu / Harpal Singh Sudle (Datsun P710)
“Not bad. The first section was okay and we got stuck for five minutes but that was it. Apart from that the car is running well. It is just underpowered, but we are doing well in the overall results.”
 
33   Richard Arrowsmith / Norris Midwood (Ford Escort Mark 1)
“We went well in the first section and didn’t get stuck but we broke the anti-roll bar somewhere in the mud.”
Co-driver Norris Midwood was very excited after the second section: “We missed a baboon, a donkey and a herd of goats but we got an LBJ (little brown jobby).”
 
34   Jac Nellemann / Joseph Huber (Porsche 911)
“We are taking it cautiously and follow the slogan ‘what you see is what you get’. Sometimes the pace notes have some surprises.”
 
35   Minesh Rathod / Sachin Sumaria (Colt Lancer GSR)
“A nice day. We were stuck at the start of the first section in the mudholes but remarkably fine at the end, which is the other way around from most people.
 
37   Phillipe Vandromme / Frederic Vivier (Porsche 911)
“The first section was very good and I think we were in eighth place overall afterwards. The second stage was too short, like a prologue. We did not have any problems today.”
 
38   Jonathan Somen / Richard Hechle (Ford Escort Mark 2)
“The first section was fun. I think we were one of the few who got through and we’ve got full mud tyres on today. The second section was fine and it’s nice to have the car back unlike yesterday.”
 
39   Ramesh Vishram / Atul Kochhar (Ford Escort Mark 2)
“The first section was not bad but a bit rough and a bit wet but we managed to make it through. The second section was very nice – dry and a bit rough but no problems.”
 
40   Arron Banks / Tim Chesser (Ford Escort Mark 1)
“On the first section we saw a lot of water and sand but we definitely weren’t on the beach. We managed to go round the river at the end of the first section but then couldn’t find the road and ended up on a dry river bed where we got stuck in quick sand. The Masai pulled us out but then we hit a rock and broke both steering arms! The second section was nice and we had no problems.”
 
42   Josef Jobst / Hans Greifenstein (Porsche 911)
“The car is running very well unlike yesterday when we had only problems: the bolt came away from the king pin in a competitive section and we had to wait for service then we got stuck twice in the mud. Our only problem today was our starting position. After yesterday’s problem we had to start way down the field. We overtook four cars in the first section and one on the second section. Next time we need a louder horn!”
 
43   Peter Stoehr / Crispin Sassoon (Datsun 1600SSS)
“We didn’t get stuck in the first section and we had no problems today.”
 
44   Kurt A Engelhorn / Johan Nel (Ford Escort Mark 1)
“Today was very good. The first section was fantastic until we got stuck and the second section was a lot of fun. ”
 
45   Franz Wunderlich / Klaus-Peter Kristek (Porsche 911 )
“The first section was good and we didn’t have a problem with the water. After the second section we washed the car but now the starter motor is not working anymore. I am actually quite happy the middle section was cancelled. This rally is already quite exhausting!”
 
46   Jean-Michel Martin / Ronain Martin (Ford Escort Mark 2)
“After we lost time in the mud we lost concentration and hit a rock collecting a puncture on the front right tyre. Then we helped Aslam Khan who was stopped in his Porsche at the same spot with a puncture but had left his jack when he was stuck in the mud.”
 
47   Bernhard Kessel / Ronny Kessel (Porsche 911)
 
 
48   Paolo Faldini / Nicolas Beech (Porsche 911)
“The first section was excellent. We found a good way through the cars but at one point we were going uphill and against the current, which was very tricky! The second stage was excellent and superfast. I really liked it.”
 
51   Samira Khan / Anita Irwin (Ford Escort Mark 1)
“We’re going okay. We got stuck in the mud again on the first section for about 20 minutes but then we overtook another car on the last part of the section, which we thoroughly enjoyed! The second section was great but half way through we got caught by a Porsche and then were stuck in its dust for a while.”
 
52   Quentin Savage / Russell Savage (Datsun 180B)
“The first three-quarters of the first section were awesome and then we got stuck for about 40 minutes, tried to help some others who were stuck and then had to employ some locals to push us out. The afternoon section was fine, no problems at all.”

 



Official Airline for EASR

Official ISP for EASR

© East African Safari Rally Limited. All Rights Reserved