We enjoyed a return to rallying on day four of the 2019 Safari Classic. Sadly, we were also forced to say goodbye to two of our cars. Gilberto Sandretto was called to home to Italy for personal reasons and Jayant Shah retired from the event with a broken thumb.
“Bye bye Safari Rally,” wrote Fabrizia Pons, Gilberto’s co-driver. “For us, unfortunately, the rally is ending today. Gilberto has to fly back to Italy. Very sad news for everybody. But we will came back in two years’ time, maybe. I say good luck to Gilberto. A huge thanks to all the Tuthill Team, especially to Ben and Dylan (Benji and Dingo).”
Stig Blomqvist topped the timesheets on the first stage of the day: SS10. Finishing just under twenty seconds ahead of Kris Rosenberger closed the gap to the second placed Porsche to just two minutes. By the end of the following stage, Blomqvists’s deficit was down to less than five seconds.
Rosenberger and co-driver Nicola Bleicher threw everything at SS12 and set the second quickest time overall, beating Blomqvist by half a minute and taking the overall lead of the rally. As we reach rally mid-point and the service day tomorrow, the top ten looks like this:
Richard’s video diary for day 4 is now on our YouTube channel – watch it below. Featuring David von Schinkel of Team Tidö Race4Health and the softly-spoken Noah of Tanzania, we learn about the incredible work being done by Race4Health opticians in the villages along the rally route, carrying out hundreds of eye tests per day and dispensing thousands of pairs of donated spectacles over the course of the rally. It’s a wonderful project that we’re delighted to support.
Tomorrow is rest day, so a full service for the cars before day five marks teh start of Safari Classic part two on Tuesday. Rosenberg will lead the field away: we’ll see how many survive the second half of the world’s toughest historic rally.