Day one of the 2019 East African Safari Classic Rally was a good one for most of our cars but, as ever, it served up a baptism of fire for some of the crews.
Our biggest challenge was the loss of a right front damper for Eugenio Amos and co-driver Roberto Mometti on stage one. The team is looking into possible causes. The car arrived in first service slightly askew (see video below), but the mechanics soon had it sorted and back on four wheels. It started stage two and completed the day. The crew was disappointed by the setback, but they are back up to speed and running P13 overall with a long way to go.
Race4Health team leader, Stig Blomqvist (main pic), ended the day as the highest placed of the Tuthill-run cars in P3 overall. Stig did not top the timesheets on any of today’s stages, the 1984 world champion and co-driver, Jörgen Fornander, chppsing to pace themselves in. They are seven minutes behind the leader after a little over 200 stage kilometres.
Running P4 overnight and just a minute off Blomqvist is Kris Rosenberger and co-driver, Nicola Bleicher. Both are new to Safari but hit the ground running and judged the terrain well. The car ran well all day and steered clear of any issues.
Below Zero Ice Driving instructor, Ossian Price, is in fifth position, followed by the wonderful Gilberto Sandretto and Fabrizia Pons. They set a rapid pace on today’s first stage, beating Blomqvist and coming third overall: a great performance on their Safari return.
Finishing the day P8 and enjoying all that is unique to this event, including camels on the road and elephants at the hotel, is Safari debutant and automotive adventurer par excellance, Philip Kadoorie. From getting stuck in a rut on stage one to beating Stig on stage three, Philip’s first day has been a roller-coaster. Watch his end-of-day interview with Richard below.
The current standings for the Tuthill-run Porsches are:
- P3: Blomqvist/Fornander (Race4Health)
- P4: Rosenberger/Bleicher
- P6: Sandretto/Pons
- P8: Kadoorie/Champion
- P9: Shah/Khan
- P10: Samuelson/Friberg (Race4Health)
- P11: Lockey/Svensson (Race4Health)
- P13: Amos/Mometti
- P17: Hayes/Hayes
- P20: Brinkerhoff/Brinkerhoff