video 2009

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World Champion on Safari Classic

It is now confirmed that the second entry for Viking Motorsport on the Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally with be a Ford Escort RS1800 driven by
1984 World Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist. His co-driver will be Ana Goni from Venezuela who accompanied him in Skodas, Mitsubishis and Subarus from 2000 to 2006. They were third in the World Production Car Championship in 2003. They also drove together on the Safari Classic Rallies of 2005 and 2007 in a Ford Escort RS1600 when they finished second and sixth overall respectively.

Viking Motorsport is a relatively new preparation company run by Phil Mills, a World Rally Champion in his own right as he was co-driver to Petter Solberg for many years and they won the World title together in 2003. Viking have a two-car team of RS1800s for the Safari Classic. The experienced John Lloyd with Adrian Cavenagh as his co-driver drives the other car. Both have considerable East African rally experience and have competed previously on the Safari Classic in Escorts and Datsuns.

The appearance of Escort RS1800s – they use the Mk 2 bodyshell introduced by Ford in 1975 – marks their first showing on the Safari Classic which
this year has shifted its eligibility date to the end of 1975. In 2007, Björn Waldegård, a former World Rally Champion won the Safari Classic driving an RS1600 but it was at the wheel of an RS1800 that he won his World title back in 1979 and won the original Safari Rally in 1977.

The current news from the rally organisers is that the seasonal rains have been heavier than normal and are playing havoc with the dirt roads in
Kenya and Tanzania that form the backbone of the Safari Classic route. Indeed the conditions are such that it is impossible at the moment to
complete the final route survey. By the time the rally arrives in November, things will have dried out but the heavy rain is likely to make the route rougher than before.

One thing is for certain and that is that the Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally for 2011 will need all the skill and experience of a World Champion
to win.








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