In less than a month, the first members of the Tuthill Porsche team will be heading to Kenya, to begin local preparations for the 2019 East African Safari Classic Rally. With nine cars to support, including three cars confirmed for Sweden’s Team Tidö Race4Health, 2019 is another big year for our team. Here’s a rundown on our drivers and co-drivers for the 2019 Safari Classic Rally!
Tuthill Porsche crews:
Gilberto Sandretto/Fabrizia Pons
Gilberto Sandretto is no stranger to Safari. Having made his debut in Africa on the 2015 event, Gilberto went on to tackle other rallies including the Morocco Historic. Co-driving for Gilberto is the legendary Fabrizia Pons: famed co-driver of Michèle Mouton and a capable driver in her own right. Fabrizia remains the only woman to score World Rally Championship points as both a driver and navigator. The two Italians are good friends and tough competitors who love rallying together.
Renée Brinkerhoff/Juliette Brinkerhoff
America’s Renée Brinkerhoff arrives in Kenya as a seasoned competitor. Her 1956 Porsche 356A rally car has so far raced on four continents as part of the Porsche 356 World Rally Tour. For her first African rally, Brinkerhoff teams up with daughter Juliette as navigator. Although Juliette is brand new to rallying, she is every bit as competitive as her mother! The pair will give their all to power to the finish line, while also raising money and increasing awareness for their fight against child trafficking.
Philip Kadoorie/Ryan Champion
Philip Kadoorie’s motorsport career began in GT cars on circuits across China and the Middle East. The family’s passion for classics soon came to the fore and Kadoorie began to explore more adventurous events in historic rally cars, including a Lancia Stratos and this beautiful Porsche 911. Partnering Philip on his debut Safari is joint 2017 Safari Classic winner, Ryan Champion. While Ryan’s speed and experience give this team an ace up their sleeves, Philip’s goal is to reach the finish and enjoy his first time here in Africa.
Joe Hayes/Kate Hayes
Joe and Kate Hayes have competed as a father/daughter team for over a decade. Based in Chicago, their shared passion for racing and rallying has taken the duo all over Europe and to events on Mexico’s famous Baja Peninsula. “I read about the East Africa Classic Safari Rally and we were intrigued by the setting and the adventure,” says Joe. “Tuthills have built us a terrific car and we can’t wait to experience the full excitement of East African rallying.”
Kris Rosenberger/Nicola Bleicher
Kris is no stranger to Kenya. Crowned Austrian Rally Champion in 1997, the following year brought an entry on the Safari Rally. Driving a Volkswagen Golf GTI, Kris finished eighth overall and third of the 2wd cars. In a year when the podium consisted of Richard Burns, Juha Kankkunen and Ari Vatanen, eighth is a special result. Kris went on to win three Austrian historic rally championships in a Porsche 911 SC. Partner Nicola is a capable co-driver: the duo claimed eighth overall on last year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
Eugenio Amos/Roberto Mometti
Eugenio Amos makes his Safari debut in 2019, but this is not his first rally. Eugenio began rallying in 2005 and competed all over Italy until 2007, when he switched to circuit racing and GT endurance events including the Spa and Daytona 24-hour races. In 2014, he moved on to Rally Raid and has competed in two Dakar rallies, as well as the Silk Way Rally. Now it’s the turn of Safari. Alongside Eugenio is Roberto Mometti: one of Italy’s most experienced co-drivers, with more than 500 rallies and many class wins to his credit. “We will start gently and see how the rally unfolds,” says Eugenio.
Team Tidö Race4Health crews:
Stig Blomqvist/Jörgen Fornander
One man who needs no introduction is the 1984 World Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist. The Swedish driver’s career is the stuff of legend. A former works driver with Saab, Ford, Peugeot, Nissan, Skoda and more, Blomqvist is best remembered as one of the original pilots of the all-conquering Audi Quattros. He became World Rally Champion with Audi in 1984. Winner of the 2015 Safari Classic Rally, Stig is a firm favourite with all fans of Safari.
2019 is the third Safari Classic for Stig’s co-driver, Jörgen Fornander, who previously partnered Joakim Roman in 2013 and 2015, with a best finish of P17 overall. Since his last visit to Africa, Jörgen has been active in the Swedish Rally Championship, alongside Martin Hagman and Jari Saarinen.
Roger Samuelsson/Robin Friberg
Safari regulars, Roger Samuelsson and Robin Friberg, are targeting a top ten result on this year’s East African Safari Classic Rally, following their eleventh-place finish on the 2017 edition. The duo’s most recent event was this year’s Midnight Sun Rally in Sweden, where they secured a class podium and enjoyed the practice in the run-up to Safari.
Trey Lockey/Julia Svensson
With several smaller US rallies to his credit, Safari is the first big event outside America for Miami’s Trey Lockey. “Joining Team Tidö is a huge honour for me and I am really looking forward to the Safari Classic Rally,” says Trey. He is partnered by Sweden’s Julia Svensson. Julia is an experienced rally co-driver, who has competed across Scandinavia and claimed several class wins in the last seven years. She most recently partnered Mathias Waldegård (son of Safari legend, Björn Waldegård) in an historic Porsche 911 on the 2019 Midnight Sun Rally. The pair came home first in class: perhaps a good omen for Trey and Julia’s Safari Classic debut!
About the 2019 Safari Classic Rally
The 2019 East Africa Safari Classic Rally starts in Mombasa on November 27th and finishes in Nairobi on December 6th. Follow our progress across social media and learn more about the rally at eastafricansafarirally.com. Watch our documentary from the 2015 Safari Classic Rally below!