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Day three - Tuesday : Naivasha to Naivasha.

The ever-changing fortunes of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally 2007 swung in the direction of Bjorn Waldegård´s Ford today. The overnight leader, Gerard Marcy, fastest in the first competitive section by almost a minute and half (not half a minute as first reported) suffered one of the problems that occurs to those running first on the road. His co-driver, Alain Lopes missed seeing a turn off onto a smaller track on the second section and, as fate would have it, there was a similar one just beyond it. The Porsche 911 lost more than ten minutes to it rivals and slipped back into second place.

Behind them, Frederic Dor kept hold on third place in his Porsche 911 despite breaking a clutch cable in the first section and having fourth placed man, Stig Blomqvist, catch him with his Ford Escort. Graham Alexander had the great misfortune to fall into an unseen dip shortly after the end of the second section and managed to rip off one complete side of his front suspension. Whether his Datsun 260Z is reparable is open to question but one thing is certain, he is no longer holding down fifth place. That is now held by Geoff Fielding in a Porsche 911 with John Lloyd sixth in his Datsun 260Z.

Biggest news of the morning was the fact that Stephano Rocca, at that point best local driver, had rolled his Datsun 260Z in the first section. At first it looked as if he might be able to continue but then it was discovered that the safety roll cage was broken and he was forced to retire. This promoted Ian Duncan to best local with his Ford Mustang in seventh place ahead of Steve Perez in a Datsun 260Z. More African drivers now fill out the top ten with Geoff Bell having brought his Datsun 180B up from sixteenth place to ninth and Jonathan Savage, Datsun 260Z having risen from fifteenth to tenth.

However, the most improved driver of the day must be Steve Troman who has come from nineteenth to place his Porsche 911 in eleventh place overall just a minute behind Savage. For all the crews, there is much more to come as the rally leaves Naivasha in the morning to head south via three longer and tougher sections to the night halt in Amboseli where, in the heart of the game reserve, they and their cars will have a day of rest on Thursday before tacking four more days of relentless rallying.

Provisional top ten classification
Pos Crew Car Penalty

1. Bjorn Waldegård/Mathias Waldegård Ford Escort 5hr 08m 15s
2 Gerard Marcy/Alain Lopes Porsche 911 5hr 12m 45s
3. Frederic Dor/Didier Breton Porsche 911 5hr 22m 06s
4. Stig Blomqvist/Ana Goni Ford Escort 5hr 23m 47s
5. Geoff Fielding/Preston Ayres Porsche 911 5hr 33m 56s
6. John Lloyd/Adrian Cavenagh Datsun 240Z 5hr 42m 05s
7. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch Ford Mustang 5hr 42m 15s
8. Steve Perez/Michael Stuart Datsun 260Z 5hr 51m 21s
9. Geoff Bell/Steve Harris Datsun 180B 5hr 52m 51s
10. Jonathan Savage/Quentin Savage Datsun 260Z 5hr 54m 05s

Car No. 1 Bjorn Waldegard
"We had a left front puncture seven kilometres from the end of the last section but we drove out on it. The sections were brilliant and we were clean apart from the puncture. It was very difficult for the navigator but Mathias was spot on. He hurt his back slightly on the transport section but it´s fine now."
On taking the lead from Marcy he said: " The Safari is an event that always levels things out. It has its ups on downs. You can´t use any tactics except to play it safe."

Car No. 2 Gerard Marcy and Alain Lopes
They made a navigational error on the second section and lost about ten minutes. The car was first on the road and there were no tracks to follow and co-driver Lopes reported there were two junctions that exactly corresponded with the tulip within 100m of each other. They unfortunately took the second and it wasn´t until 6km later they realised the mistake and then had to retrace their steps, making a 12km detour in all.
Alain Lopes said: "It´s a shame because this is my last competitive rally. After this I will only be doing regularity events."

Car No. 3 Stig Blomqvist
"No problems and no punctures. Anyway, this was better than the other two days."

Car No. 4 Frederic Dor
The clutch cable of the Porsche 911 failed in the first section but they were second fastest in the second section. "We lost a lot of time," said Dor. "And we only had second and fourth gear for those passage controls on the Delamere estate. But we fixed it and it was fine for the second section. I think we did a good time."

Car No. 5 Ian Duncan
The Mustang had a puncture on the first section when they hit a rock hidden in the grass. They stopped and changed it. The car arrived at Naivasha with no starter motor. "Something clicks down there," said Duncan. "But nothing turns."

Car No. 6 John Lloyd
The 240Z has pulled up from ninth to sixth place, just in front of Ian Duncan. They lost a service car this morning but it has now been replaced.
"This is the third day in a row there´s been no punctures and nothing broken. We had a clean run and I think we pulled up some places. It´s taken me a couple of days to get into my pace but when you´ve got Duncan behind you tend to put your foot down."

Car No. 7 Keith and Mary-Ellen Callinan
"Today was just wonderful. It´s been our first day without drama and we´ve found a pace we´re happy with. Unfortunately we were in really bad dust on the first section but the Escort was great and not even the wheel alignment was out."

Car No. 8 Steve Perez
"We had a rear differential cross member come loose towards the end of the second section and that slowed us a bit." The suspension on the 260Z was proving troublesome and Perez was last seen negotiating with the service crew of Rocca to try and acquire his complete spare set.

Car No. 10 Geoff Fielding
"The car is fantastic and we had a nice day," said Fielding still with a slight air of amazement after discovering they were now lying fifth in their Porsche 911. "There´s actually more dust on the road sections than on the competitive sections."

Car No. 11 Graham Alexander
The extremely competitive Australian Datsun 260Z was apparently caught out by a large car-sized hole shortly after the end of the second section. The impact ripped a lot of the front suspension out and, at this point, it´s not known if the car is reparable sufficiently to continue on Wednesday morning.

Car No.12 Bo Axelsson
The clutch went on the Escort and they didn´t complete the second section.

Car No. 14 Alex Hack
"I had a slightly loose steering arm which we fixed after the first section. There was a lot of dust from the other cars. It seems to be a pattern with us: we drive then we break something, we drive then we break something but what will be, will be."
Without their considerable road penalties incurred for service their Escort would be a lot better placed in results.

Car No. 15 Richard Martin-Hurst
No punctures today but some starter motor problems on the last road section. "I´ve never driven on such a rough road and over such rocks as on that approach to the first competitive section. It was even worse than the old Liege when it went into Yugoslavia after the Skopje earthquake."

Car No. 16 Steve Troman
They had noise from a driveshaft when they went to start the first section this morning and they changed both after the section. "It was a bit narrow in the grass sections of that first section," said Troman. "On the second section we broke the top of one of the rear dampers and that had to be fixed at service. We also had a puncture but that was on the road section. Martin (Rowe) was great and is doing a lot to keep me in check and up to scratch."

Car No. 18 Aslam Shah
From co-driver Lofty Drews: "The head gasket we fitted yesterday is behaving itself and we had - for us - a relatively trouble-free day. We were plagued by a misfire for both competitive sections which turned out to be thanks to the distributor wires not being properly refitted. We only discovered it by the purest chance before Naivasha."

Car No. 20 Paul-Eric Jarry
"We broke a rim three kilometres before the end of the first section and it cost us at least four minutes as we had to stop and change the wheel. The worst thing today, like yesterday, has been the main road diversions which are really bad."

Car No. 21 Jonathan Savage
"It was quite tough today. We had a good first section but I think we broke a strut on the back in the second section because we hit something and we´ve got a badly bent rim so we had to back off for the rest of the section. It was an amazing drive down into Kerio - there were some serious drops."

Car No. 25 John Rose
This is a farm-built rally car using Stuart Wilkin´s parts from Australia and built by John´s son, Lee, who has been Kenya national rally champion and Mike Mwangi.
"We did a really good first section but then we had a puncture on the second on the descent into Kerio valley. The Callinans came past us but were really nice to let us back through when we caught them later. Our final problem today was from the fuel pumps that could not, for some reason, pull the petrol through the filters which we had to bypass. We lost ten minutes on the road."

Car No. 26 Josef Pointinger
"We had a broken throttle cable spring before the second section but we fixed it before we had to start."

Car No. 27 Stefano Rocca
The ex-Collinge 260Z (which won the 2003 and 2005 Safari Classics) unfortunately rolled on the first section. The crew are fine but the rollcage is too damaged for them to continue. "I made a mistake," said Rocca. "I was going too fast in the dust and hit a rock. It was one slow roll but it was enough. I should have slowed down but it´s so difficult when you´re racing."

Car No. 29 Aslam Khan
Yesterday the Escort damaged a rose joint when they hit a rock. They had no spare and the service vehicle couldn´t come into the section until the other cars had finished. They had a very late return into Naivasha.
"We had a much better day today. We drove very safely and soundly without any risks."

Car No. 32 Larry Horn
"After yesterday´s disaster today was great. It was challenging but a lot of fun. I´m looking forward to tomorrow after a long shower."

Car No. 33 Roddy Sachs
Unfortunately the Datsun 180B hit a rock five kilometres into the first section. It broke the track rod, bent the camber arm and generally deranged the steering. "I made a mistake," said Sachs. "We tried to fix it but it wasn´t right in the second section either."

Car No. 36 Shaheed Wissanji
"We´ve had no power all day. We´ve been pushed up hills and it´s very frustrating. We´re going to look at the engine now but we have no real idea what it is. We think it maybe fuel supply to the carburettors. We also had a broken rear suspension arm but that´s changed now so it´s just the engine we have to sort out before the morning."

Car No. 37 David Rayner
"The good news is that the air conditioning is working perfectly. The bad news is that we broke a rear spring twenty kilometres before the end of the second stage just before the ford. We kept going and it all hung together and we had it changed at service."

Car No. 40 Jeremy Bennett
"We finished - that´s the main thing. We were quick on the first section but took it carefully on God´s Bridge."

Car No. 43 Tim Mammen
"We´ve been a bit lucky today. We had two punctures, one was in the parc ferme overnight and the other was on the road section between the two stages but we did have a self-inflicted problem after the second stage. In service we checked the suspension and unfortunately one rear wheel didn´t have its nuts tightened up. We almost lost it on the main road and, in fact, we´re still one wheel nut missing."

Car No. 44 Neil McGrigor
Yesterday the Escort had several problems. They had a "misunderstanding" with one of the corners in the first section which was much tighter than they thought and burst two tyres and wrote off the rims. In the second section they got stuck in the same waterhole as them team mates Bennett/Chesser and had to dry out their electrics. In the same section the back brake pipe was ripped out and they had to the last section with no rear brakes. "I didn´t tell my co-driver until after the section," said McGrigor. "But today was fantastic although we now have some problems with the clutch. We took it relatively easily but we´re very pleased."

Car No. 45 Geoff Bell
The Datsun 180B has pulled up six places to tenth place ahead of the car´s preparer Roddy Sachs in another 180B.
"We had a very good day. There were a couple of overshoots in the first section but it wasn´t a navigational error - just me driving too fast in the dust. The car´s great. It´s really nimble in the twisty sections and we caught the Savages in their 260Z. I´d like to do more competitive sections. I used to navigate for Vic Preston Junior in the Alfas (with Sachs as the manager) and I even remember some of the roads."

Car No. 47 Peter Harland
The brakes on the 260Z developed a problem in the second section. The pedal box rod had worked loose and the pedal became longer and longer. "We´ve gone through a set of tyres," said Harland. "But otherwise alright."

Car No. 50 Nick Mason
The 260Z left this morning and missed the first competitive section to try and get the rear cross member and differential fixed. They did the second section but the cross member must have broken again as they arrived at Naivasha with the wheel hanging out of the wheel arch.

Car No. 52 Iqbal Sagoo
From co-driver Jurgen Bertl: "Just 700 metres before the end of the second stage we were brought to a halt because the right rear wheel wouldn´t turn. I got out of the car and it was just possible to move it forward under power so I had to run the last part of the stage. When we got the car jacked up we found that not only was the suspension arm broken but it had lost all its bolts. We fixed a couple of new ones in and have got it into Naivasha where we can now replace the whole arm."

Car No. 53 Wayne Kiesbetter and Rob Hellier
"Another good day. We just had to change the damper bushes again."

Car No. 57 Harvinder Dhanjal
"We´re really impressed with the tyres we´ve got from Silverstone which seem to standing up to the punishment amazingly well. The only problems today was a few bolts came loose on the front suspension and now we stop after every stage and check them. Oh yes, and all our spotlights fell off the front."

Car No. 58 Michel Puchercos
"I really liked the first section: fast and good to drive. The ignition problem we had from the first day now seems to be completely solved - and we had no punctures."

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Robin och Henrik totalvann premiären av nya Asfalts-SM.
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Hansen i helgens Tjeckiska Rallye Sumava Klatovy.
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Nästa deltävling:
Skogsåket 22/05

Rally SM:
South Swedish Rally 14-15/05

Rally VM:
Vodafone Rally de Portugal 20-23/05

Svenska RallyCupen:
Gästabudstrofén 29/05

Foto från:
Uddevalla City Race, del 2.
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Uddevalla City Race.
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