Quotes from the drivers: Day 1

1: Stig Blomqvist – SWE

Was a very tricky first day, especially in the first section, where most of us got stuck in one of the mud holes. Overall, I am happy to be back here to defend the title I won last time.

2: Carl “Flash” Tundo – KEN

Quite a lot of time spent making decisions. We had an electrical fire before even the first stage and we had to rewire the car losing about a minute and a half. The times we set were all in the top ten, and we are in the same minute with Stig. The good thing is that the officials made good decisions with the times and I commend them. We have done a lot of work on the Triumphs and I think the fire was caused by putting the tracking unit the wrong way but it’s all sorted now.

3: Baldev Chager – KEN

Been very challenging and extremely tricky. I think we were very lucky not to get stuck in stage 1 that’s why we had a good stage time. Looked forward to stage two but we had an issue with the fan belt. It snapped 5km and we had to be very careful which lost us a bit of time. 8 more days to go, it’s a rally that can catch you out and can be good to you or be very cruel. Of course we have to do our best as a Kenyan entry but we have stiff competition from the likes of Stig, but it should be good fun.

15: Tejveer Rai – KEN

We had probably more downs than ups. We got stuck in both the stages. Apart from that we lost a lot of time. The waiting didn’t affect us too much but you feel the concentration going off a bit, but that’s the part of the challenge. Just want to focus on tomorrow and get day two under way.

10: Onkar Rai – KEN

Got stuck behind a lot of cars in the mud holes but besides that we had a good day. However we lost gears and we didn’t have 4th gear but we still got good times. Would have been better. Tomorrow we will have to see what times we get, as we will have to put in a new gearbox. As for the whole Kabra’s team, we are talking together and we just have to make sure we get to the end.

21: Ramesh Vishram – KEN

Was a good day, but such a pity that the first stage had an issue but all in all its been a good start, besides the wet conditions but I thank God that we managed to go through. 2nd stage was rough with a lot of wash outs and had to be extremely cautious. The car has minor issues which they will sort out tonight before the second day.

23: Nick Mason – GB

We had a great run and managed to get through everywhere. For us it was a good day. However, it was very disappointing in the length of time that we were left out baking in the sunshine, waiting for decision to be made. Thank God for the second stage, it was absolutely fantastic which brightened up everyone for the day.

24: Steffano Rocca – ITA

It was a nice race, very nice first day. Unfortunately in the morning we had to wait. In the first stage, I got stuck in a mud hole and got stuck there for almost an hour and a half. The second section was great: I had two cars that slowed me down a bit but ended up well. The car is more than fantastic and better than the last classic rally – my team has done a fantastic job on the car.

30: Tim Mammen – KEN

We were going on very well and got through the mud holes at least in the beginning. At some point I got an overtake request. Unfortunately I pulled up too far on the left side and ended up stuck permanently in the mud. So we spent half an hour stuck. Rocca tried to pull us backwards, didn’t work, but we later got help – until then, we baked in the sun for 3 hours. The second stage was great and we had fun in it.

32: Dinesh Sachania – KEN

Excellent run in the first stage, decisions were made very slowly and it was tiring. The second stage was good and the long section was tough with a lot of corrugation. We are not thinking a lot about tomorrow, just taking it a day at a time.