City of London insurance broker, John Lloyd has entered this year´s Kenya Airways Safari Classic rally in a Datsun 240Z, lent to him by former Datsun/Nissan works driver and organiser of the Classic Safari in 2003/5, Mike Kirkland. This will be Lloyd´s third entry in the rally and it will also be the third different make of car that he has driven.
In the 2005 event, Lloyd took a formidable fourth place in a Porsche 911, and in 2003 he was one of the leading contenders in a Ford Escort until he crashed on the final leg and the car went up in flames. Partnering Lloyd will be Paul Amandini who has co-driven with Lloyd on those two Safari Classics. The 240Z is the same car that four times ex-world champion, Juha Kankkunen, drove on the 2005 event. “I haven´t driven a 240Z before but I´m excited about the challenge,” says Lloyd. “I´ve known Mike [Kirkland] for many years and it was an offer I couldn´t refuse. For Paul and I, the event´s always has been a great experience.”
Lloyd´s interest in rallying and connection to the Safari started during his childhood in Kenya and then many years spent marshalling on the Safari Rally in the late 60´s and early 70´s. He first started competing in the sport in 1996 as a navigator on the historic section of the Safari Rally in a Peugeot 504. Despite his business commitments, Lloyd´s passion for rallying led him to compete in more historic events, and in 1996 he tried his hand at driving and won the Iceland Historic Rally. He then moved on to drive more modern machinery and finished fourteenth overall in the 1999 Safari Rally proper. He has competed in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship where he finished third overall in 2001 and in the British Rally Championship in 2005, just leaving enough room in his busy schedule to return to Kenya for the 2005 Safari Classic.
Since the 2005 event Lloyd has competed on the 2006 Zulu Rally in South Africa in a Mitsubishi Evo VIII where he finished eighteenth overall. The Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group also supported Alister McRae on that event who took overall victory. Maintaining their connection with Africa, this year the JLT Group have been supporting Zimbabwean driver Conrad Rautenbach who is currently leading the FIA African Rally Championship in a Subaru Impreza as well as lying fourth in the British Rally Championship. Meanwhile Lloyd himself is driving in the Hankook MSA Gravel Rally Championship, campaigning the same Ford Focus WRC in which Mark Higgins won the 2005 BRC. So far he has won his class at both the Sunseeker Rally and the Somerset Stages. “I haven´t driven a historic car since the last Safari,” says Lloyd. “And I won´t have much chance to drive the 240Z beforehand, but I´m sure I´ll get into the swing of things. I´ve had a good run in the first and second Safari Classics and I know the roads. I may not be a local but I´m close to it.”
Publicerad: 2007-05-30 17:49