The 2013 winner of the East African Safari Classic, Ian Duncan has pulled out of this year’s rally at the last minute. Citing cam shaft problems in his Ford Capri 3100 V6 engine, the rally ace said “I am shattered and disappointed. The engine has given me hassles all the time, frequently blowing the head gasket. I don’t have a spare cam shaft to fix the car,” he added.
Duncan, 54, was seen in the Sarova Whitesands car park earlier today, bent over the bonnet of his revving Ford Capri V6 engine before departing to try to address the issue. Duncan had previously had a change of co-driver, when Amaar Slatch bowed out due to work commitments, and was replaced by Andrew Doig.
The Kenyan born driver has competed in 14 old Safari rallies starting in 1983. He won it in 1994 in a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD and has won multiple Kenyan rally championships and currently competes in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X with Amaar Slatch. He did one event this year with Andrew Doig – the Voi Rally – where they finished third. Duncan has won the Safari Classic twice, once in 2009 with a V8 Ford Mustang and in 2013 with a V8 Ford Capri.
Meanwhile in another last minute change, rain stopped play on the last stage of the first day’s route. Clerk of the Course Richard Leeke has made adjustments to the route to account for a submerged bridge. Incessant rain the coastal area has made the area to difficult to pass.
The wet is expected to create further difficulties for drivers, especially overseas entrants. “Local drivers, have a better understanding of how to read the mud and avoid potentially damaging areas,” said car no 10’s Alastair Cavenagh. “Its much harder to do this, if you are not used to it.”
The rally flags off at 7.30am Thursday.