Ex-Safari rally winner Mikkola to grace Classic Rally

Monday November 13 2017

East African Safari Classic Rally manager Pipi Renu (centre) poses for a photo with drivers Rajech Maini (left) and Devan Bhundia on November, 3, 2017 in Nairobi during seeding of drivers. The rally will be held in Kenya and Tanzania from November 23 to December. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

East African Safari Classic Rally manager Pipi Renu (centre) poses for a photo with drivers Rajech Maini (left) and Devan Bhundia on November, 3, 2017 in Nairobi during seeding of drivers. The rally will be held in Kenya and Tanzania from November 23 to December. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ABDUL SIDI
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The 1987 Safari Rally winner Hannu Mikkola from Finland will be in Mombasa next week for the Kenya Airways East Africa Safari Classic Rally.

The hugely experienced rally driver will drive the car he used to win the 1987 Safari Rally - an Audi 200 quattro - briefly for ceremonial purposes before the start of the Kenya Airways East Africa Safari Classic Rally which is scheduled to start on November 23.

Because the Audi 200 quattro is a museum car, Mikkola will drive carefully for some filming in Mombasa, at Taita Hills and at Amboseli before flying back home.

MADE HISTORY

Mikkola and Gunnar Palm, driving a Ford Escort, became the first foreign crew to win the Safari Rally in 1987. 

More European drivers went on to win the race, but it was not before 1987 that the experienced Finn, partnered by his Swedish co-driver Arne Hertz, set another mark in the record books by giving four-wheel drive its first Safari success, in an Audi 200 quattro.

This year’s edition of the Kenya Airways East Africa Safari Classic Rally has now been scaled down to Kenya and Tanzania from the initial competition which had taken competitors to the three East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

After removing Uganda from the programme, it is left to Tanzania and Kenya to host the event.

This year’s round of the series will have only two days of competition in Tanzania, starting with Arusha before drivers head to Tanga and back to tackle the rest of the championship in Kenya.

The entry list of 36 cars for the East Africa Safari Classic Rally includes 14 Kenyan crews while the rest of the competitors are drawn from Europe, Argentina, Tanzania and South Africa.