Driver Quotes: Day 4 Safari Classic 2013

2, Gregoire De Mevius/Alain Guehennec, Porsche 911

Very frustrating day! On the first section we didn’t go so fast – we knew Ian had a puncture and saw Stig had come off the road so we slowed down. Then on the second section we heard a noise and thought a shock absorber had come loose then we heard a second noise and we thought the tyre had come off the wheel. Stig went past us and about 15 km before the end the drive shaft broke.

We tried to fix it but one bolt was so tight that we couldn’t shift it so we thought we’d wait for Bernhard (Munster) but he also had a problem so we had to wait to be towed out. We fixed it but then in the last section the roadbook was a disaster!

From Bernhard Munster: The noise Gregoire could hear initially from the drive shaft was the joint losing its protective rubber boot. Then the joint took in a lot of dust and after that it is not long before it fails. Gregoire slowed up and hoped to be able to drive out and let Stig go past him. But then the joint failed and he had to wait to be towed out.

3, Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch, Ford Capri

To have one puncture is unlucky – and that happened to us on the first section – but what can you say when you have three in one section ? That was us on the second section. And before you ask, we don’t carry three spare wheels so we had to drive out on the third puncture. No problems with the car but we will give it a good check over tomorrow. We were a bit disappointed by the road book in the last section as there were quite a few culverts where there was no mention of them from the three-day car notes.

4, Geoff Bell/Tim Challen, Datsun 260Z

That counts as a good day. We did break a lower wishbone in the rear suspension about fifty kilometres into the first section and we had to drive slowly out for the remaining sixty kilometres. Then we got it fixed and made up for our woe by setting fastest time on the equally long second section.

5, Stig Blomqvist /Staffan Parmander, Porsche 911

Our troubles on the first section were all down to the brakes. Something in the car is causing the discs to knock-back the pads in the callipers so when I come to a corner there is no pedal. On this particular place, trying to pump up the brakes at the last moment made the back hang out and before we knew it, we were perched on a bank with both rear wheels off the ground. Thus we couldn’t drive it off but had to jack up first one side and then the other to put stones underneath so that we could drive off. Must have cost us six, seven minutes but it was our good luck that Duncan punctured on that section. The brakes are still not right but we have had no punctures today or any other problem.

6, Gérard Marcy/Stéphan Prévot, Porsche 911

Phew ! The road book for that last section was so bad. One place it said there was a ‘double caution’ ditch in 1.8 km but in fact it was a mistake and it was only 0.8 km. I tell you, if we had not had full speed at that point and flown over it, there would have been a lot of damage. It is bad things like that and dangerous for guys who may be going a little slower. The rest of the day was good though we did have one puncture where, when we had changed the wheel and let down the jack, we couldn’t restart as the handbrake would not release. The pin had jammed in the mechanism and it took a bit to persuade it to let go.

7, Steve Perez /John Millington, Datsun 260Z

The story of our day is simple – no clutch ! We lost it just coming out of the second long stage onto the main Nairobi road to go and do the spectator section. It was really frightening going through all those villages and hoping that we didn’t have to stop and try to restart. The BRT mechanics tried to bleed the clutch operating system but it didn’t cure the problem so we went to the last section and prayed that we could start the engine in gear on the key. Thankfully it did catch and we got through. So if I say we are very pleased to be here, I really mean it !!

8, David Horsey/Alex Horsey, Porsche 911

No hassles today. Only problem was the injection timing belt was breaking up on the first section so we changed it after the first section. We swapped who did the driving which I think is the way to do it! It was a long way to drive for a super special but it wasn’t a long was for sponsorship!

9, Alastair Cavenagh /Carl Tundo, Ford Escort RS1800

It was a bad day again. On the first section the car was misfiring and we lost time. On the second section things were going nicely then a Porsche appeared from nowhere and we were in his dust for 30 km and as a result crashed twice and we were stuck in a bank for about 10 minutes. In the spectator section, Flash started driving but the linkage on the throttle broke and Flash had to then operate the throttle from underneath the open bonnet while I tried to drive peering around the bonnet. The last section was fine!

10, Bernard Munster/Johan Gitsels, Porsche 911

We broke a ball joint on the bottom of a rear damper some way into the second section. Perhaps we made a mistake as we tried to repair it instead of removing the whole damper. The repair lasted 50 km and then broke again. The whole thing cost us hours!!! Also twice we have lost the brakes because in the right rear wheel where the banjo connects the brake pipe to the calliper the stones hit it in such a way as to undo it. On the left hand side, the stones do the opposite!

11, John Lloyd /Gavin Laurence, Ford Escort RS1800

I was knackered until I saw Andrew (Siddall) and now I feel fresh as a daisy! We had a very bad jump at the beginning of the second section and drove out with very skewed steering. So we drove about 80 km with a certain amount of caution but the caution went to the wind when we saw the photographers and the helicopter landing ! The last section was great!

12, Andrew Siddall/Carl Williamson, Datsun 260Z

The first two sections were fine. But on the last section we bent four alloy rims (which at £300 a go is very annoying for a Yorkshireman!!) and we also broke a track control steering arm.

14, Steve Troman/Andrew Doig, Porsche 911

The first section was good but we got stuck in the same corner as Stig. Luckily we got towed out pretty quickly. On the second section we were held up by Franz Wunderlich and on the third spectator section Doigy drove. On the fourth section we followed a Datsun SSS for 30 km.

15, Jean-Pierre Mondron/Eric Werner, Porsche 911

For me it’s a difficult rally now. I have no more challenge but to finish the rally but I enjoy driving the sections. In the second section today I completely lost the brakes 20 km before the end and we fixed the brakes in service. It was a long way to go to Nairobi to see the spectator section and the last section was rough – more rough than two years ago when it was much wetter!

16, Phillip Vandromme/Frédéric Vivier, Porsche 911

It was the hardest day so far! A bird broke our windscreen and both driver and car are tired! Tomorrow both of us must have a rest!

17, Franz Wunderlich/Klaus-Peter Kristek, Porsche 911

It was a bad day for Franz Wunderlich who had been making steady progress. He hit a ditch at high speed on the first section of the day, hurting his back in the progress. Wunderlich made it to the end of the stage but has since been taken to hospital for precautionary checks alongside co-driver, Klaus-Peter Kristek.

19, Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager, Porsche 911

Rai drove the first three sections today and Chager drove the last section.

In the first section we caught Geoff (Bell) and were stuck in his dust then in the second section we broke the accelerator cable so we used the hand throttle for a bit and then got a nudge from Geoff who had caught us and we stopped to make a proper change over to the second cable. Then in the last section our third gear was broken, but the driver (Chager) still managed to set fastest time.

From Chager: I’m loving it. I’m definitely going to be doing more East African Safari Classics.

20, Alain De Mevius/André Leyh, Porsche 911

No quote taken

21, Patrick Van Heurck/Alain Lopes, Porsche 911

During the first section we had a throttle cable break so we had to stop and change it. It cost us about five minutes. The last 20km of the fourth section today was incredibly rough with loose rocks all over the place. Whenever we went over one it felt as if we had a puncture.

22, Richard Jackson/Ryan Champion, Porsche 911

No quote taken

23, Aziz Tejpar/Andy Nagi, Ford Escort RS1800

My story is simple – everybody’s good wishes blew my luck out the window. On the day’s first section the main bolt through the TCA sheared. That was the bad news. The good news was that we had a spare bolt in the car but when we came to fit it we realised you needed two 22 mm spanners and not just the one that we had. For a while nothing to do but then a motorcyclist came along and shed his chain right in front of us. We helped him put it back on and he undertook to ride into the next village and get us an adjustable spanner, with which we fitted the bolt. We did everything else in the day and no problems with the car. It’s a great shame.

24, Aslam Khan/Farhaaz Khan, Porsche 911

A good day. Our strategy now is take it easy and keep the car intact. The corrugation on the road section in was more testing than the competitive sections!

25, Mark Bentley /Ed Bentley, Ford Escort Mk 1

We had our first clear day! We were caught in dust on the first section but that was okay and everything seems to be back on track. Apart from our service truck broke down after the border and needs a gearbox change.

27, Marzio Kravos/Renzo Bernardi, Ferrari 308 V8 GT4

We’ve either been on ¼ throttle or ¾ throttle but the problem comes when we’re trying to slow down for a hazard and the throttle is still open! And that happened today. The spindle problem resides in the design of the return springs that come fitted to the carbs – these fill up with dust and jam.

28, Joakim Roman/Jorgen Fornander, Porsche 911

On the first section we tried to avoid a ditch and went up a bank – we managed to drive back down again but then we had a puncture. The last section was incredibly rough even by comparison with other rough rallies that I have done like Cyprus – there were rocks every where. The others were okay but we had a problem with the brakes but we hope to maybe move up the field a bit more!

29, Manvir Baryan/Jaswinder Chana, Porsche 911

No quote taken.

30, Jayant Shah/Lofty Drews, Porsche 911

Today was alright. We had one puncture in the second section but changed it in section but otherwise it was okay. I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow.

31, Josef Jobst/Jürgen Bertl, Porsche 911

We hit a sand hole in the first section and then the power just went and oil was leaking out. We drove out but the valves were gone so we’re going to get a new engine from Mombasa and fit it on the rest day.

32, Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle, Ford Escort Mk 2

We changed the whole rear axle and are back on track with a car that works! Well it better work now!The drive shaft had sheared completely as if it had been cleaved through.

33, Jan Hagman/Martin Hagman, Porsche 911

We had a puncture on the first section and a wrong turning. But no big problems.

34, Nick Mason/Harpal Sudle, Datsun 240Z

No quote taken

35, Jorge Perez Companc/Jose Volta, Ford Escort RS 1800

We did a big jump in the second section and broke the rear suspension arm when we landed. I think I was getting a bit too confident about letting the car jump so much. We went slowly with the car but then the propshaft broke and we came to a halt. The Viking cars eventually reached us and replaced the parts and five hours after we stopped we are here at the lodge.

36, Michiel Campagne /Mike Van Thiel, Chevrolet Corvette GS

No quote taken.

37, François Kicq/Jean-André Collard, Porsche 911

No quote taken.

38, Rommy Bamrah/Harvey Jutley, Datsun 260Z

No quote taken.

39, Kulwinder Sandhu/Raja Sehmi, Datsun 710

No quote taken

40, Ramesh Vishram/Atul Kocchar, Ford Escort Mk 2

No quote taken

41, Albert Michiels/Alexandre Leens, Porsche 911

We broke the clutch at the end of the second section and fixed it at service but we have some road penalties.

42, Jean-Michel Martin/Vincent De Raiken, Porsche 911

We broke a rear shock absorber on the first section and tried to repair it in the section but couldn’t so we drove out on it. The spare we had was not so good so we had to keep it slow for the rest of the day.

43, Bernhard Kessel/Ronny Kessel, Porsche 911

No quote taken

44, Malcolm Destro/Simon Bates, Datsun 260Z

600 km in a really uncomfortable car! We loved the first section – rock n roll! But the sections back in Kenya had the same old challenges and the second section was very tough. The final section was okay but both the car and crew need some TLC tomorrow!

45, Gérard Brianti/Olivier Campana, Porsche 911

We broke the engine in the last section and were there for some time but we made some great friends there while we were waiting.

46, Mir Muzzamil /Tinu Khan, Datsun 180B

No quote taken

47, Karim Wissanji/Yasser Slatch, Ford Escort Mk 1

No quote taken

48, Kishan Bhanderi/Tim Mammen, Mazda RX7

No quote taken

49, Asad Anwar/Kashif Sheikh, Datsun 240Z

We weren’t reseeded so we were in the dust of other cars and came off. We missed the spectator section but did the last section.

50, Aaron Banks/Tim Chesser, Ford Escort Mk 1

We saw an East African finch today! On the last section we had no washers so we had to stop to pour water on the windscreen and lost quite a bit of time!

51, Johan Nel/Mischa Fritch, Ford Escort Mk 2

On the first section Johan was driving the nice flowing section. In the second section I (Mischa) was driving and about four km we went over a jump, knocked the steering and drove into a sandy wall and ripped the front wheel off. We drove back to the start and then spent two hours fixing it and missed the third section. We did the final section and got back fine.

52, Josef Huber/Yves Huber, Porsche 911

No quote taken

53, Michael Madler/Michael Schauderna, Ford Escort Mk 1

No quote taken

54, Patrick Henri de Frahan/Eric Gressens, Porsche 911

No quote taken

55, Kailesh Chauhan/Simon Phillips, Ford Escort Mk 2

No quote taken.

56, Richard Göransson/Emil Axelsson, Porsche 911

Good! Brilliant! Some troubles with the suspension and a puncture as well on the last section about 6 or 7 kilometres from the end so we drove out on it. We’re starting to learn how to approach this rally and adjust the pace and respond quickly. We hope to get on a real Safari on the rest day!

57, David von Schinkel/Per Björkman, Porsche 911

David von Schinkel rolled his car on the final stage but managed to nurse it back to parc ferme, which is being held in Amboseli national park. He was last seen at Serena Lodge still in his rather dirty white Race4Health overalls at midnight nursing a couple of beers!

58, Roger Samuelsson/Robin Friberg, Porsche 911

About 16 km into the last section something caught out the crew and they broke or bent the rear suspension. They were back at the hotel last night and the car is in one piece!

59, Christer Johansson/Mattias Adielson, Porsche 911

The car rolled 60 km into the last section with what may have been some ambitious overtaking. The car he was trying to overtake had slowed down for a gully and in the dust Johansson launched himself into it and rolled the car. The crew got back late last night and are fine.

60, Kobus Coetzee/Ramon Hayde, Ford Escort Mk 1

No quote taken.

62, Jonathan Savage/Russell Savage, Datsun 260 Z

Great! The first section was really good – fast and we caught a few. The second I wished we were back in Tanzania – it was just so rough. In the last section the notes were completely out. We had a few close encounters but we got it through.

63, Peter Stoehr/Crispin Sassoon, Datsun 1800 SSS

We had a good day. Crispin is always entertaining and often points out the wildlife!

64. Samira Khan/Chantal Young, Porsche 911

The rally queens were in late last night but are happily tweeting from the service park so all is well!