Drivers return to action this morning for the start of final leg of 2019 East African Safari Classic Rally after a day’s rest in Tanzania.
However, stewards of the meeting under Clerk of the Course Raju Chaggar made a decision last evening to change the route for Tuesday’s action due to impassable stages.
Speaking on Monday at the competition’s headquarters in Tanga, Chaggar said two sections of the 155-kilometre stage are impassable.
“I have spent the day trying to salvage the stage for Day Six. We have done several flyovers and there are two sectors that are literally under water. I don’t feel safe putting anyone through that as the roads are impassable. I have modified the day’s route, making sure that drivers get the mileage as expected,’’ said Chaggar
Chaggar added: “We plan to run three stages again. We still have good mileage similar to one Kenya National Rally Championship distance.’’
The first car will be flagged off at 8am from Tanga for the beginning of Day Six action. Mechanics spent maximum of six hours on each of the rally cars that made it to the end of the four days of the competition, which began on Thursday from the Whirtesands Hotel in Mombasa.
Kris Rosenberger and Nicola Bleicher, driving a Porsche 911 car, lead the standings going into Tuesday’s start. Bleicher is the best placed female navigator out of the four ladies competing in the rally.
Other are Julias Savesson who has so far guided Trey Lockey to ninth place, Kate Hyes who has helped her father Joe Hayes to 13th place and Juliette Brinkerhoff who has guided Renee Brinkerhoff to 17th place. All the ladies are Porsche 911 crews.
Tejvir Rai, his brother Onkar Rai and Aslam Khan are the best-placed local crews in the rally. They are currently lying third, sixth and eighth respectively in the rally, all of them driving Porsche 911 cars.
“With the rains, the condition of the roads are changing every time so I am driving cautiously. I have had no problems with the car so far. I am enjoying it,’’ Aslam told Nation Sport on Monday.
Former Kenyan-based driver, but now a resident of Oman, Joey Ghose, said he was driving with care as his Nissan 240Rs had had several problems.
Standings after Day Four
1. Kris Rosenberger (AUT)/Nicola Bleicher (DEU) Porsche
2. Stig Blomqvist (SWE)/Jorgen Fornander (SWE) Porsche
3. Tejveer Singh Rai (KEN)/Gavin Laurence (KEN) Porsche
4. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Kenya) Porsche
5. Philip Kadoorie (HKG)/Ryan Champion (GBR) Porsche
6. Onkar Singh Rai (KEN)/Drew Sturrock (GBR) Porsche
7. Osian Pryce (WAL)/Dale Furniss (WAL) Ford Escor
8. Roger Samuelsson (SWE)/Robin Friberg (SWE) Porsche
9. Ian Duncan (KEN)/Anthony Nielsen (KEN) Porsche
10. Eugenio Amos (ITA)/Roberto Mometti (ITA) Porsche
11. Aslam Khan (KEN)/Imran Khan (KEN) Porsche
12.. Trey Lockey (USA)/Julia Svensson (SWE) Porsche
13. Bernhard Kessel (DEU)/Ronny Kessel (DEU)
14. Scott Armstrong (GBR)/Harpal Singh Sudle (GBR)
15. Joe Hayes (USA)/Kate Hayes (USA) Porsche
16. Joey Ghose (OMN)/Stephane Prevot (BEL) Nissan 240RS
17. R. Brinkerhoff (USA)/Juliette Brinkerhoff(USA) Porsche