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Day two - Monday: Nairobi to Naivasha.

It took only ten kilometres of the first competitive section on Monday morning to change the leader board of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally 2007. Overnight leader, Bjorn Waldegård, had a rear puncture on his Ford Escort RS1600. He and his co-driver, son Mathias, changed the wheel very quickly and were just ready to continue when Gerard Marcy swept past in his Porsche 911. For the rest of the section, some forty kilometres, Waldegård had to stay behind in the dust and thus lost the lead to Marcy. On the next section, Waldegård had another puncture which he also changed and lost time again.

For Marcy, taking the lead was a mixed blessing. He did not have to worry about dust from rally cars in front, but he was now first car on the road and in the next two competitive sections had close encounters with two goats, a sheep and a taxi. He had no punctures during the day but his car bore the scars of these encounters as it came into the night halt in Naivasha still in the lead.

Third at the end of the first day was the second Historic Motorsport Escort of Stig Blomqvist but he too was to suffer with punctures. His first one split the wheel rim and carried away a brake pipe while the second one just cost him time. This dropped him to fourth and, after the first section, promoted Ian Duncan to third. The local hero had taken the fastest time on the first section with his Ford Mustang but then he too was hit with punctures, this time two on the same stage. As with Blomqvist, the effect was to loosen his brake coupling which meant that he lost almost twenty minutes in the section and then had to work hard in service to get the car roadworthy again. He dropped to eighth in the placings at the end of the day.

The problems that beset Blomqvist and Duncan promptly promoted Frederic Dor in a Porsche into third place while behind the leading quartet, Graham Alexander, running steadily in his Datsun 260Z held a comfortable fifth place ahead of Geoff Fielding´s Porsche 911. Just behind them Stefano Rocca was fractionally ahead of Duncan and holding seventh place. Rounding out the top ten was John Lloyd in the ex-Mike Kirkland Datsun 240Z in ninth with yet another Tuthill Porsche 911, that of Steve Troman in tenth.

In eleventh place is a very happy Roddy Sachs with the first of his three Datsun 180Bs. The other two, driven by Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswelter, are lying fifteenth and nineteenth.

The rally tomorrow will visit Elementaita and then back to the Kerio Valley before returning for the night halt at Naivasha. The competitive section through Elburgon has been cancelled due to the large number of almost impassable mud holes left by the recent rains.

Provisional results - top ten only
Position, Crew, Car, Penalties

1 Gerard Marcy/Alain Lopez, Porsche 911
03hr 32m 13s

2 Bjorn Waldegård/Mathias Waldegård, Ford Escort RS 1600.
03hr 36m 46s

3 Frederic Dor/Didier Breton, Porsche 911.
03hr 46m 53s

4 Stig Blomqvist/Ana Goni, Ford Escort RS 1600.
03hr 49m 13s

5 Graham Alexander/Ross Runnels, Datsun 260Z.
03hr 54m 54s

6 Geoff Fielding/Preston Ayres, Porsche 911.
03hr 58m 02s

7 Stefano Rocca/Piers Daykin, Datsun 260Z.
04hr 01m 58s

8 Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch, Ford Mustang V8.
04hr 02m 42s

9 John Lloyd/Adrian Cavenagh, Datsun 240Z.
04hr 02m 54s

10 Steve Troman/Martin Rowe, Porsche 911.
04hr 06m 43s

Car No. 1 Bjorn Waldegard
"We had a puncture on the first section then Marcy passed us so we were in his dust. We then tried to take something back in the second competitive section but we had another puncture - on the front this time. But we were bloody to quick to change them - my son is a good mechanic. I think we lost about five to six minutes in all."

Car No. 2 Gerard Marcy
"Of course, after the first section we were leading on the road as well as leading the rally so we had the job of meeting all the hazards first. We hit two goats and a sheep and finally a taxi that was coming the other way. No big damage but Alain´s foot is worn out from pressing the horn button. We had no punctures and I am driving at ninety per cent to try and keep it that way."
From Richard Tuthill: "It´s fantastic to be where we are at the moment with four of our Porsches in the top ten. But one must not count one´s chickens as there is a lot more rallying to go."

Car No. 3 Stig Blomqvist
From co-driver Ana Goni: "Not a good day. We had two punctures on different stages and the first puncture split the rim and cut the brake pipe so we were really slow and then of course we lost time with the other puncture as well."

Car No. 4 Frederic Dor
"There were no real problems. The way to go fast today was to avoid the punctures. The steering became loose on the Porsche 911 during the last section so I had to go slow. There was still a problem from yesterday with its fixing. The stages are great. Luckily I have Marcy clearing the road for us."

Car No. 5 Ian Duncan
"The first section was good for us but then we had two rear punctures on the second. We had the second just five kilometres after the first. The rim was damaged and the car dropped off the jack and somehow loosened the rear brake connection thus we had to finish the section without much in the way of brakes. And then work like hell in service to get the car mobile again. I nearly finished the rally going away from service when a rally car in front of me slowed up for some goats and I discovered my brakes were not yet one hundred per cent."

Car No. 6 John Lloyd
"Again there were no problems with the 240Z. I haven´t broken anything and we haven´t any punctures. Only problem was the road section into Naivasha."

Car No. 7 Keith Callinan
"Unfortunately we made a navigational error going out to the first section and got stuck on a highway and couldn´t turn around so we missed that section. We made the second and really enjoyed the third - it had nice flowing fast bits you could actually drive. The Escort´s been great and there´s no problems "

Car No. 8 Steve Perez
Unfortunately co-driver, Mike Stuart had turned over two pages of the road book in the first section and they got lost. They turned round and passed another car so they turned again only to find the other car stopped with a puncture. But they were able to confirm that this was the right road. They also had the front suspension break on that first section - compression strut broke away from main body. On the third section they think they have broken a bar which helps to retain the differential and rear axle.

Car No. 9 Iain Freestone
The Escort rolled in the first competitive section and though retrieved and found to still be in working condition, after examination by the scrutineers, it has been mutually decided it will not re-start. Iain Freestone: "We gave it a good reason to roll. It was a fast bend slightly downhill and we went in far too fast. The pile of rocks on the outside didn´t help at all. My back hurts but the doctor says I will just be stiff."
Deputy Clerk of the Course, Mike Summerfield, suggested Iain´s next Safari car could be a "Roller".

Car No. 10 Geoff Fielding
"The event is beyond my expectations. And to make it even better, I´m lying sixth. If I finish in the top ten it will be like winning the rally for me!"

Car No. 11 Graham Alexander
"Everything is OK. The 260Z is going well and there´s no complaints. It´s a bit rougher than the last East African Safari Classic and I think everyone´s driving a bit tougher as well."

Car No. 12 Bo Axlesson
Retired the Escort in first section with a broken rear axle. From Mark Solloway: "I have never seen anything like it before in my life. The inner end of the half shaft broke inside the differential and then exploded. It´s broken the differential casing and the axle tube. We have spares and we shall try to get the new axle in it this evening but first I need to find a bearing press."

Car No. 14 Alex Hack
"We had a very good run through today. We hit a rock on the second section and bent the rim but it didn´t puncture. However just three kilometres from the end of the third section we did have a puncture. We had a odometer problem and thought it was only a couple of kilometres to the end of the section so decided to drive on which was a big mistake as it was a quite a bit further. So we eventually we had to stop to change the tyre and lost more time than if we´d stopped in the first place. To top it all, the other rear tyre had got so hot driving the car on its own that it too failed before the end of the section."

Car No. 15 Richard Martin-Hurst
"We popped a front shock absorber on the first section and it lost all its oil so we had to change the insert at the first service. Apart from that no problems except some nice person threw a rock and broke our screen while we were trying to negotiate that horrible diversion between Nakuru and Naivasha."

Car No. 16 Stephen Troman
"We have tripled our rally experience in a single day. We hit a culvert on the first section and shot four feet in the air and spun as we landed. This was a self-inflicted error which we are trying not to repeat. We did break a rear damper in the third section but generally the Porsche 911 is OK and we haven´t had any punctures."

Car No. 19 Paul and Mary-Ellen Kane
The front suspension of the Mustang came apart twenty kilometres before the end of the second section so they took maximum penalties on the last two sections.

Car No. 20 Paul-Eric Jarry
"It was a good day but there were a couple of trucks in the competitive section."
When asked about some damage to the Porsche´s roo-bar: "We hit a rock which was a bit off the road."

Car No. 21 Jonathan Savage
"We had no punctures on the 260Z although we had four yesterday - I don´t know how we did it. On the last section the engine cut out a kilometre from the end. It was the high tension lead for the distributor. We fixed it but the engine cut out again and I realised I had forgotten to reconnect the fuel pumps. I think we lost about 2-3 minutes."

Car No. 22 Albert Michiels
"We had one puncture on the first section and two punctures on the second section. Happily this pattern did not repeat itself for the third section. The Porsche is good and seems to like this kind of rallying."

Car No. 23 Paul Darrouzet
They broke the rear suspension on the first section and are taking maximum penalties for the other sections today.

Car No. 24 David Kedward
The water pump on the Escort failed yesterday and the car did not continue today.

Car No. 25 John Rose
"Not a brilliant day, we had one puncture per section and stopped and changed them each time. The worst was the first puncture where the rim broke and the car went down so that we couldn´t get the jack under. Fortunately a group of Masai helped us lift the car and we got going again. I´m driving like my grandmother to save punctures but we have to find some solution because I cant go any slower."

Car No. 26 Josef Pointinger
"We had a puncture on the first section ten kilometres from the end. Some places were rough - not even an Austrian farmer would drive over this in their tractor - but we´re here for the Safari." Amazingly, Pointenger recalled that on the 2003 Safari Classic, he broke a rear leaf spring on this Escort and was given a second hand replacement by Iain Freestone. "And it is the same one that is on the car today."

Car No. 27 Stefano Rocca
"There were no problems for us. We even had time to tops and wash the car at service. The second section was the toughest I´ve seen in all my time living in Kenya. I´ve competed in three modern Safaris in the 1990´s and this is definitely much tougher."

Car No. 29 Aslam Khan
They had suspension problems in the Escort in the second section and took maximum penalties for the last section.

Car No. 33 Roddy Sachs
"We had a very good day. It was a bit a rough in patches but there were some super sections - it´s a pity there weren´t more."

Car No. 34 Ian & Val Swan
The clutch centre in the Volvo pulled out on the first section so the service crew came in and towed it straight to service in Naivasha. It will hopefully start again tomorrow morning "We made a lot of friends with the local tribesmen," said Val. "And gave them all the baseball caps from the rallies we´ve done in the past. You take the good with the bad and tomorrow is another day."

Car No. 36 Shaheed Wissanji
"It was an excellent day. It was very rough in the second section. They weren´t even rocks - they were boulders. We changed the bushes on the shocks. It was a good day and we hope we can keep it that way."
This is the same BMW 2002 driven by Simon Sharpe and Denis Burnett drove to tenth place in the 2005 East African Safari Classic except it´s now white instead of orange!

Car No. 37 David Rayner.
The connection between the end of the Capri´s steering rack and the steering arm came off in the first section. "We came off the road and went straight into the bushes," said Rayner. "We fixed it but then it happened again later in the section."
The Rayners will start again tomorrow morning.

Car No. 40 Jeremy Bennett
"We got stuck in a mud hole in the first section. The locals helped us push it out and we opened the bonnet to let the electrics dry out in the Kenyan sun - it only took about ten minutes. We ran out of petrol on the road section just as we drove into a petrol station but they were closed so we filled it up with Jerry can."

Car No. 42 Bert Dolk
"We have had two problems today. One is the front spring seats on the bottom wishbones which are collapsing despite being highly strengthened. And the other was the rear mounting for the gearbox which bent and we had to take it off and straighten it. All this meant we had to miss the third section and go straight to Naivasha. My goodness, I used to think that the old RAC rally was the roughest thing I had done but I´ve had to revise my opinion."

Car No. 43 Tim Mammen
"We had an average day which was spoilt by losing second gear in the first section which meant we had to drive all day in a rather conservative fashion. We will change the box tonight but it´s quite a lot of work as we have to also change the differential to match the different ratios in the new gearbox."

Car No. 45 Geoff Bell
"It was a long dusty day but there were no problems except the steering box became loose. But that was nothing compared to yesterday when the steering wheel became loose in the Taitas. We´ve sorted yesterday´s problems with the shocks by making them softer."

Car No. 47 Peter Harland
"It was exhausting but very good. I had a couple of close calls in the first stage going sideways and the car stalled again but I had a lot of fun."

Car No. 48 Ekya and Prina Shah
They missed the last section yesterday because of a broken oil pipe but today was clean. "Today´s been fine," they said. "Some interesting roads and very rocky."

Car No. 50 Nick Mason
"We broke one rim and buckled another. Part of the problem may be that we dropped the tyre pressures to try and save the dampers from overheating. We carry a lot of weight in this Datsun 260Z as we don´t have a management car to carry our petrol and thus it runs with the full one hundred litres all the time."
From co-driver Adrian Grinstead: "We´re jumping around so much I can´t tick the notes off in the roadbook and I´m strapped into the seat so tight that my bum has gone completely numb."

Car No. 52 Iqbal Sagoo
The rear left wheel came off in the first section and took the brake calliper with it. "The wheel passed us and went off way into the distance," said Sagoo. "We put the spare on but we had no spare calliper so we had a missing brake for the rest of the day."

Car No. 53 Wayne Kieswetter / Rob Hellier
"It was all fun. A little bit rough but that´s what the Safari is about."

Car No. 58 Michel Puchercos
"No problems, a good day, and no punctures."

And finally.
Sian Lloyd, British TV Weather Presenter, and Yvonne Mehta, widow of Shekhar Mehta presented a gift of blankets, mattresses and medicines from the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally to the Naivasha Orphanage School.

» Pressrelease från Safarirallyt, www.eastafricansafarirally.com.

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