Three Tuthill-built Porsche 911 road rally cars are taking part in the ERA Classic Safari Challenge: a 28-day clockwise drive from Cape Town to Cape Town via Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe totalling some 8,500 kms/5,200 miles.
First run in 2003, this year is the sixth edition of the Classic Safari Challenge. Sadly, the event was overshadowed by tragedy early on, when Czech competitor, Jan Hradecky, had an accident in his Mercedes 230SL while driving through Namibia. No other vehicles were involved, and Jan received medical attention following the crash, but sadly his injuries were too severe to survive and he died at the scene. His wife Dana was alongside and also injured, but less seriously.
The organisers and competitors elected to carry on in memory of Jan on a non-competitive basis and the event has now passed the halfway point. Our friend and Rally Director, Fred Gallagher, said: “Jan was a seasoned rally participant, having competed in our 2016 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Jan’s wife Dana, their family and friends at this difficult time.”
We echo the sentiments and send all of our best wishes to Jan’s family and friends. It is always a blow to lose a loved one, and no amount of consolation can ease that pain in the short term, but we hope that time will be kind and bring peace.
Our cars and clients have settled into a contemplative pace and are exploring some beautiful country, including Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei sand dunes, Etosha National Park, Okavanga Delta, Victoria Falls, Limpopo River and many more wonderful sights all across Africa, every minute of the day. An unreliable car would be most unwelcome in the midst of such beauty while remembering Jan, so it is good to hear that our 911s are behaving. Best wishes to all of our rally friends involved with this event.
Rally pics courtesy of our great friend, Gerard Brown. See more of Gerard’s wonderful work at gerardbrown.photoshelter.com.
RIP Jan Hradecky