Driver Quotes: Day 1 Safari Classic 2013

1, Björn Waldegård/Mathias Waldegård, Porsche 911

We had to be careful on the first stage. Although the Zero car had gone through an hour or so before, we had to dodge quite a lot of non-competing vehicles and particularly cows – who of course did not understand about the rally, through they do now ! And we had a few cows on the quick stage through the sisal. But the car is going well and it is a long way yet.

2, Gregoire De Mevius/Alain Guehennec, Porsche 911
We took a puncture of the left rear in the first section but that’s rallying. The sisal section was bit too quick while the Taitas was hard physically with not too many straight lines. A good contrast between the three to start this long rally.

3, Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch, Ford Capri
Well, we are here ! Arriving at the end of the first day always makes you feel better. Of course it is hot in the Capri with the engine up front and the exhausts underneath us, but rally cars in Africa are hot places anyway. We had a puncture near the end of the first section but drove out on it.

4, Geoff Bell/Tim Challen, Datsun 260Z
Basically we have had a good run with no problems. Except that is when I popped the front of the Datsun off going uphill in the Taitas. Silly really because we got a bit stuck in this ditch and it must have cost us thirty seconds reversing out.

5, Stig Blomqvist /Staffan Parmander, Porsche 911
No problems for us – and I think we are hitting the right speed. But it IS hot in the car ….

6, Gérard Marcy/Stéphan Prévot, Porsche 911
No problems for us. The car does well and the crew are enjoying themselves. It is great fun and that fast section in the sisal was really nice. Made me think of Paris-Dakar …

7, Steve Perez /John Millington, Datsun 260Z
The car’s OK but I don’t like the handling. The settings have been sorted out by Geoff [Bell] and Tim Ashton [BTR] and they just don’t seem to work for me when we are in the competitive sections. I will see if I can move back to my 2011 settings this evening and see if it feels better tomorrow.

8, David Horsey/Alex Horsey, Porsche 911
All okay – Kenyan cool! There’s a slight scratch on the purple monster.

9, Alastair Cavenagh /Carl Tundo, Ford Escort RS1800
Our only problem was overshooting going uphill on the last section – I think it was the place where Geoff Bell had been off. But we are pleased because this is the first Safari Classic where we have got to the end of the first day with no problems.

10, Bernard Munster/Johan Gitsels, Porsche 911
That first stage. it was so hard to set the pace. What speed to do ? We had no idea how fast we should be going and I was worried that we would be caught by the car behind. In fact, he [John Lloyd] did catch me so we agreed that he should go first on the second section. But there I could see that I was catching him ! And on the third section, I did catch him. So now I know what pace to set …

11, John Lloyd /Gavin Laurence, Ford Escort RS1800
It was terrible on the third section as I was sick. Been suffering some kind of tummy bug for a day or so but I didn’t want it to strike just then. There was a jump right at the end of the section over the old railway line and I jolly nearly rolled the Escort. The crash opened the front wheel alignment so there will be some work needs doing tonight.

12, Andrew Siddall/Carl Williamson, Datsun 260Z
A simply wonderful day ! On previous Safari Classics we have been in major problems on Day One and consequently I have never seen the Taita Hills Lodge in daylight before. We did have one problem when we broke a rear brake calliper plate on the second section. We changed the strut before the Taitas and all was well.

14, Steve Troman/Andrew Doig, Porsche 911
We were caught out at the very end of the last section at the double caution at the railway crossing with only 700 m to go. I braked and hit the railway sideways, rolled and lost the windscreen.

15, Jean-Pierre Mondron/Eric Werner, Porsche 911
No problems with the car. First section was typical Africa, the second a bit too fast – we had 180 kph on the clock at one point – while the third one is really Tour de Corse on rough gravel.

16, Phillip Vandromme/Frédéric Vivier, Porsche 911
Parfait! Perfect car and perfect drive. The last section was a slippery – a bit like an African version of the Andros (ice-driving) Trophy. The other two stages were very quick

17, Franz Wunderlich/Klaus-Peter Kristek, Porsche 911
We had a puncture at the rear on the first stage so we stopped and changed it. The three sections were all completely different in character. The car has performed perfectly throughout but we seem to have caused our iPhone to stop functioning !

19, Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager, Porsche 911
[Baldev Chaggar, the new Kenyan Rally Champion driver] Today, Onkar has been driving the stages and I have just been sitting there keeping us on the right road. It makes a nice change from having someone do that for me ! He will drive all the competitive sections for the first four days – half the rally – and I will drive the other four. Today, everything has been faultless. For me this is my first time in the Safari Classic as a competitor and I am really enjoying myself.

20, Alain De Mevius/André Leyh, Porsche 911
Today, there were no excitements or problems with the car. The only thing to bother us as that the driver’s arms were quite tired by the end of the third twisty section.

21, Patrick Van Heurck/Alain Lopes, Porsche 911
We started the day by catching someone on the first section so we knew that our pace was good. We enjoyed both the first two but for us the third one was just wonderful. When we came to the end of it, in those first minutes after we had finished, we both felt twenty years younger. Sadly, some of that has now worn off!

22, Richard Jackson/Ryan Champion, Porsche 911
It started off great then 20k into first section we got a puncture and the jack wouldn’t go under because of the camber of the road – very frustrating! The Taita Hills were fantastic

23, Aziz Tejpar/Andy Nagi, Ford Escort RS1800
A very good day. No troubles with the car or with the crew. In fact, the first two sections were really enjoyable and it was only the last one that was bit more rough than we had expected.

24, Aslam Khan/Farhaaz Khan, Porsche 911
It was a bit rough in places but fantastic route. It’s the first day so we decided to take it slow. Although the co-driver is complaining that I should drive faster!

25, Mark Bentley /Ed Bentley, Ford Escort Mk 1
It was okay. No major problems. We were caught in dust in first section and in the second section we were a little cautious. In the Taitas (3rd section) there were fuel starvation problems and over-heated

27, Marzio Kravos/Renzo Bernardi, Ferrari 308 V8 GT4
We made it back and we had some niggly problems, which we’ll sort out tonight. All the dust was a big problem for our air cleaner and we were driving on quarter throttle in first section. We cleaned it on the road section but lost about an hour. There were also problems with the throttle linkage but we’ll sort it all out tonight.
Co-driver Bernardi had a problem with his melting Sparco shoes and had tank-taped his soles to the shoe. I’ll be wearing my desert boots tomorrow, he said.

28, Joakim Roman/Jorgen Fornander, Porsche 911
The last stage was very very rough – exactly like Cyprus. Otherwise it was a good day. The car is going okay but a bit of overheating in first section. In the last 40 km of the last section we were in the dust of an Escort

29, Manvir Baryan/Jaswinder Chana, Porsche 911
Phew! That was a long day. We got lost in the first section and lost about ten minutes – I think the co-driver was still asleep! It’s completely different from the national rallies that we do.

30, Jayant Shah/Lofty Drews, Porsche 911
Today was fine but hot! The car has had no problems and I’m enjoying the Porsche. It was very tight in the Taitas.

31, Josef Jobst/Jürgen Bertl, Porsche 911
We played Carlsson on the roof! We were going well in the first section and then we braked for a hole and ended up 90 degrees to the road. We were going very slow by this time and hit a little slope so it was a very slow roll! Then we got some local help but we broke a rear wheel bearing and took a brake calliper off. We limped out of the section. In the second section we were without brakes because we didn’t have time to finish the work on them and we caught 2 cars – we had to because we had no brakes! Third section went well!

32, Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle, Ford Escort Mk 2
The Escort of Somen/Hechle was pushed into service
We had a gearbox problem in the last 20 kms of the Taitas (third section). It was going like a dream but we lost 3rd, 4th and 2nd gear so we only had 1st and 5th and then there was overheating so we decided to stop and had to be towed out of stage. The other two sections before that were great fun!

33, Jan Hagman/Martin Hagman, Porsche 911
A very nice day. We had a problem with some cows and to wait for them. The last section was good but a bit tricky.

34, Nick Mason/Harpal Sudle, Datsun 240Z
Absolutely fantastic. For some unknown reason we broke a compression strut in the middle of the last section. We changed it in the section and trundled out. I’m going to look through the broken pieces tonight to see if I can fathom what went wrong!

35, Jorge Perez Companc/Jose Volta, Ford Escort RS 1800
It was tough and this is our first time. We broke the driveshaft 3km before the end of first section. We drove out and it was fixed on the road section. The last two sections were just great. Difficult but just great.

36, Michiel Campagne /Mike Van Thiel, Chevrolet Corvette GS
No quote taken.

37, François Kicq/Jean-André Collard, Porsche 911
For a first day in Kenya it was nice but tough. We are beginners so we need more concentration on these long sections. I made some little mistakes and these could become big mistakes if I’m not careful. We are finding our pace.

38, Rommy Bamrah/Harvey Jutley, Datsun 260Z
The car is okay. There’s a bit of a problem with the clutch hydraulic system in first two sections. Otherwise good.

39, Kulwinder Sandhu/Raja Sehmi, Datsun 710
First two sections went well. Our last section we lost 3rd gear 16 km in and only had 1st, 2nd and 4th for the rest of the day. We’ll change the box tonight

40, Ramesh Vishram/Atul Kocchar, Ford Escort Mk 2
Not bad. Lost the brakes in the second section half way through and had to slow down a bit. Changed brakes in service. The last section was a bit fast and tough.

41, Albert Michiels/Alexandre Leens, Porsche 911

42, Jean-Michel Martin/Vincent De Raiken, Porsche 911
Excellent! Lots of fun. It’s a learning curve as this is our first EASC.

43, Bernhard Kessel/Ronny Kessel, Porsche 911
No quote taken.

44, Malcolm Destro/Simon Bates, Datsun 260Z
Good – we’re here. Didn’t enjoy the last section – it was like banging your head against a wall – it’s good when it stops. The Taita Hills are world renowned and they didn’t undeliver!

45, Gérard Brianti/Olivier Campana, Porsche 911
[Brianti was winner of this year’s Monte Carlo Historique in an Alpine Renault A110 and both he and his co-driver live in Monaco.] We had a puncture in first section but that was our only problem with the car. I was feeling ill but discovered that Coca Cola is good medicine and now feel OK.

46, Mir Muzzamil /Tinu Khan, Datsun 180B
It was a good day. So far so good. My favourite section was the second.

47, Karim Wissanji/Yasser Slatch, Ford Escort Mk 1
Terrible but we’re here. We had no clean run on any of the sections. We met oncoming traffic twice on the first section and bent a rim – we were in so much dust we don’t know what we hit! The second and third section we caught other cars.

48, Kishan Bhanderi/Tim Mammen, Mazda RX7
No problems for us.

49, Asad Anwar/Kashif Sheikh, Datsun 240Z
Excellent! Lots of fun. It’s a learning curve as it’s our first classic. We’re having fun.

50, Aaron Banks/Tim Chesser, Ford Escort Mk 1
We had a fantastic day. Wonderful scenery and I saw a natterjack. Stayed on 4 tyres and no dents in the car, which is a first!

51, Johan Nel/Mischa Fritch, Ford Escort Mk 2
It went very well. We lost the intercom in the first section and had to use hand signals and shout alot. We got it back in the third section and were hit by a rock but besides that everything is fine.

52, Josef Huber/Yves Huber, Porsche 911
No quote taken.

53, Michael Madler/Michael Schauderna, Ford Escort Mk 1
Very fine! We had three really good sections but on third section nearly choked the engine on the third section.

54, Patrick Henri de Frahan/Eric Gressens, Porsche 911
Very good. Perfect for first day. It’s my first time on the rally. Great experience and the car is perfect.

55, Kailesh Chauhan/Simon Phillips, Ford Escort Mk 2
No quote taken.

56, Richard Göransson/Emil Axelsson, Porsche 911
Quite an eventful day ! We caught the guy in front in the first section and took his dust for a long way. Then same thing in the second section but in his dust we missed a left hand corner and went off and got stuck on a small sand bank. We discovered that they are not as easy to dig away that Swedish snow banks! That cost us twenty minutes and then on the last section, something went wrong with the brakes and we had to drive down the last part to the finish on the handbrake. But tomorrow will surely be better.

57, David von Schinkel/Per Björkman, Porsche 911
Fantastic – very interesting. We made a mistake on the first section then went back to the village for directions and ended up doing two loops of the first section! The second section was really fun and third was very up and down – and our trip wasn’t working!

58, Roger Samuelsson/Robin Friberg, Porsche 911
First two sections were really tricky. We had a puncture on the first section and were behind cars on the second. The third section was great.

59, Christer Johansson/Mattias Adielson, Porsche 911
No quote taken.

60, Kobus Coetzee/Ramon Hayde, Ford Escort Mk 1
No quote taken.

62, Jonathan Savage/Russell Savage, Datsun 260 Z
It was good. The car was brilliant. Navigation was excellent. 15 km into the first section we sliced a tyre open and lost seven minutes and I’m not as good at changing tyres anymore!

63, Peter Stoehr/Crispin Sassoon, Datsun 1800 SSS
The co-driver’s shoes melted but otherwise it was great. And we managed to find some mud although nobody else did!

64. Samira Khan/Chantal Young, Porsche 911
Good and dusty. We’re still learning the car and taking it easy. We’re focussed on getting to the end!