Former Kenyan national rally champion, Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen, will drive one of the twenty-two cars entered in this weekend’s Mini Classic Rally powered by Safaricom 4G+, which starts in Nairobi on December 9th.
Laukkanen is one of four foreign entries for the event alongside crews from Tanzania, Oman and Great Britain. Quizzed on the plan for his first-ever Classic Rally, Laukkanen had this to say from his home in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.
“Firstly, I am excited and looking forward to the three-day event. Gavin Laurence will navigate me in a Porsche 911,” said Laukkanen while talking to Finland’s Nation SportsDesk. “I actually don’t know what to expect, though my main goal is to test the car for future events. I tested a Porsche several years ago and look forward to doing some more. All is relaxed so I feel no pressure for this weekend.”
Home hero, Ian Duncan, is a two-time winner of the Mini Classic’s big brother: the famous East African Safari Classic Rally. Duncan will also take part in his Ford Capri, with Anthony Nielson as navigator.
The rally starts at 8am on December 9 from The Waterfront Karen in Nairobi. Run in memory of JS Vohra, the former chairman of the East African Safari Classic Rally, who sadly died in a car accident while following last year’s event, all entry fees from this rally are being donated to Amref Africa’s Stop The Cut campaign, which works to eradicate the barbaric practice of Female Genital Mutilation, replacing it with the Alternative Rite of Passage.
The rally covers over 1,100 kilometres with 560 kilometres of competitive stages. Day 1 is a three-stage loop run to the south of Nairobi while day two action covers more than 400 kilometres, finishing at Sarova Woodlands Hotel in Nakuru. The final day starts and ends at Sarova Woodlands, Nakuru.
Also taking part are former Safari Rally winners Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Porsche 911), defending Nakuru Classic Rally winners, Raaji Bharij and Rajay Sehmi (Porsche 911) and the Khan family led by Aslam, Arshard, Farhaaz and Samira in various capacities as drivers and navigators.
Text by Abdul Sidi with additional input by Safari Classic Media