It’s been a difficult first day for competitors on the 2017 Safari Classic Rally, with overflowing rivers and flooding rivers leading to two stages being cancelled. Rally cars were instead sent direct to the first overnight stop at Amboseli. Despite the difficult conditions, the order at the front of the field has not changed: the top three have come home exactly as they started.
The unaudited day one results (below – subject to updating) show defending champion Stig Blomqvist leading the rally ahead of Carl Tundo and Baldev Chager. “It was quite tricky in the mud, and we did get stuck at one point,” said Blomqvist as the first cars arrived in Amboseli.
In a day full of drama and marred by bad weather, organizers were compelled stopped CS1 when cars got stuck at a river crossing. Old Safari hands had some idea how to tackle this, but the new arrivals were literally thrown in at the deep end.
Double Safari champion and crowd favourite, Ian Duncan (photo), had a terrible opening day with the mud, floods and mud forcing mechanical issues in the Capri RS3100. He hopes to repair the problems in service overnight and restart the rally tomorrow.
Day two covers a total distance of 534kms. Tomorrow, the rally will cross into Tanzania for the first time this year, returning to the Ol Tukai Lodge in Amboseli National Park at the end of the day. Competitors will start from Amboseli early in the morning and complete three competitive stages before the first car arrives back in Amboseli at roughly 3pm tomorrow afternoon.
Day 2 Programme (Time is for first car)
0530: Restart from Amboseli
0745: Ol Donyo Longido – Ol Donyo Sambu 100.97kms
1043: Monduli – Lingido 117.31kms
1354: Amboseli Park – Amboseli Fence 1 51.49kms