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   | START | OM EMOTORSPORT.SE | ARKIV | LÄNKAR |

Safari Rallyt; Day seven - Taita to Ngurdoto Lodge.
PRESSRELEASE

Problems for ex-World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist caused a bit of a shake-up on the seventh day of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally 2007. His Ford Escort broke a half-shaft in the first competitive section today and he took a maximum penalty. Once the car was fixed, he soon bounced back to set third fastest time on the long second section and has managed to hold onto eighth place overall.

The rally leader is still his team mate, Bjorn Waldegård, whose Escort now has a lead of some sixteen minutes over new second place man, Frederic Dor, driving a Porsche 911. But the rally has been set alight by the driving of Gerard Marcy, now third in a Porsche 911 who set fastest time on both sections today, outpacing his nearest rivals by two and a half minutes on the first 75km section and a minute and twenty seconds on the second 116km section. The gap between these two Porsches is now one minute and ten seconds which, on a Safari Rally, is a mere blink of the eye.

Still slightly amazed by his good position on a rally that he has never driven before is Geoff Fielding whose Porsche 911 now lies fourth overall, some way behind Marcy but twelve minutes ahead of Frenchman, Paul-Eric Jarry, in yet another Porsche 911. Jarry has been driving steadily all week, starting just outside the top ten and improving by about one place a day until now he lies fifth, a minute ahead of Steve Perez in a Datsun 260Z. John Lloyd has fallen back again with his Datsun 240Z after having the misfortune to discover that he had a puncture right on the start line of the first section. He had to change it in the section and then later had an off road excursion that resulted in a broken fan belt.

Blomqvist lies eighth behind Lloyd and is doubtless looking to erode the eight minutes between them in the next two days of rallying. Roddy Sachs from South Africa is ninth in a Datsun 180B despite suspension trouble at the end of the day and his team mate, Wayne Kiewetter is tenth in another Datsun 180B. There are no local drivers left in the top ten since Jonathan Savage had the misfortune to roll is Datsun 260Z just four kilometres from the end of the second section. The crew are unhurt but the car is unlikely to continue according to eye-witnesses at the scene. Thus the top local crew are John Rose and Michael Borrisow in their Datsun 240Z in fifteenth place. The best local individual is of course, Peter Young, who is co-driving for Sachs.

Tomorrow, the rally comprises a loop circumnavigating Mount Meru from the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge outside Arusha that again provides just two competitive sections. However, the first is 154km and the second is 62km so no one is expecting an easy day´s drive. After that, there is just one long day on Monday back to the finish in Mombasa with three competitive sections one of which is in the infamous Usambara Mountains.


Provisional top ten results

Pos. Driver/Co-driver Vehicle Total Penalty

1 Bjorn Waldegard/Mathias Waldegard Ford Escort Mk1 11h30m19s
2 Frederic Dor/Didier Breton Porsche 911 11h46m24s
3 Gerard Marcy/Alain Lopes Porsche 911 11h47m34s
4 Geoff Fielding/Preston Ayres Porsche 911 12h31m45s
5 Paul-Eric Jarry/Craig Redelinghuys Porsche 911 12h44m19s
6 Steven Perez/Michael Stuart Datsun 260Z 12h45m20s
7 John Lloyd/Adrian Cavenagh Datsun 240Z 13h00m46s
8 Stig Blomqvist/Ana Goni Ford Escort Mk1 13h08m57s
9 Roddy Sachs/Peter Young Datsun 180B 13h17m14s
10 Wayne Kieswetter/Rob Hellier Datsun 180B 13h42m39s


Car No. 1 Bjorn Waldegard
"On the second section it was very twisty. I thought we were near the end and I asked Mathias how much longer to go. When he told me there was still 70 km I was quite surprised. It felt as we´d already done 100km of the 115 km section. With the misfire completely gone after the lads fixed the distributor yesterday the car is going really well. The only problem we have is a hole in the exhaust but that´s quite straightforward to fix."

Car No. 2 Gerard Marcy
Marcy set fastest time on both sections despite breaking a front right damper 20 km into the first section. "Other than that the car is good," he said. "Perhaps if it hadn´t broken I would have gone even faster on that section. On the last section I caught Waldegard and had to drive 50 km in his dust. Just no way to get past."

Car No. 3 Stig Blomqvist
The Escort broke a half-shaft 9 km into the first section. "I jacked the car up and started to take the broken shaft out," said Blomqvist. "But the broken bit inside the diff was twisted so when the service car came eventually we had to take the whole differential out in order to remove the broken part. That all took a very long time so we turned round and went back to the main road and down to the second competitive section."
From co-driver Ana Goni: "We passed eight cars in the second section though I have to admit that two of them were actually in ditches."

Car No. 4 Frederic Dor
The Porsche 911 broke a rear damper in the first section. "I saw Stig stopped and then my damper went so I decided to drive slowly and carefully," said Dor. "I knew the service after that section was short so I wanted to cause as little damage as possible. The last section was very twisty."

Car No. 6 John Lloyd
The crew of the 240Z realised the car had a puncture just as they pulled up to the start control of the first section. "We had to change it once we started the stage," said Lloyd. "And then we came over a massive jump and went straight into the bush. Finally we had to change the fan belt probably as a result of that excursion. I reckon we must have lost about sixteen minutes in all."

Car No. 7 Keith & Mary Anne Callinan
"We had a good day. We got caught in someone´s dust 25 km into the first stage and managed to pass them at 52 km. The second section was brilliant - awesome. There were lots of things to catch you out but it all went fine."

Car No. 8 Steve Perez
After a big jump at the end of the first section the 260Z broke one of its engine mounts which allowed the engine to drop onto the steering rack which then stiffened up. "The steering was quite heavy on that last section," said Perez. "On a straight you can take your hands off the wheel and it goes on its own but of course on that second section there aren´t very many straights. In fact it seemed to go on forever. It was nice to have a good transport sections and time to complete them."

Car No. 10 Geoff Fielding
"We had a puncture 5 km into the second section and had a few problems with the jack. We were passed by Jarry and Perez while changing the tyre but we overtook them again later in the section. It was good because I was catching them so the adrenaline was going and I didn´t feel tired. The stages were fantastic."

Car No. 11 Graham Alexander
"The head gasket started leaking on the first transport section to the border. We´re not quite sure where it is leaking but I´ve had to take it really easy all day, especially up hills where I haven´t been able to use the engine to its full capacity. Now we have to look in service and see if there is anything we can do."

Car No. 15 Richard Martin-Hurst
"We broke a half-shaft 59 km into the first section - that´s just 15 km from the finish. Tony stripped out the shaft and diff while we were waiting for the service crew to come in. We told them what the problem was on the sat phone so when they arrived it was quite a quick job but we were still OTL at the end of the competitive section so there was no point in proceeding to the next one and we came straight to Arusha for service."

Car No. 16 Stephen Troman
"We lost the brakes a bit 10 km into the last section - I think we were losing brake fluid. The last section was very twisty and was more I´m used to. It was great to drive."
From co-driver Martin Rowe: "After our experience yesterday Steve was a bit slow to get into it today but it wasn´t long before we were going over things that were at least as bad as the one that ripped our suspension off yesterday."

Car No. 18 Jayant Shah
"No problem with the car, not even with the co-driver. A thoroughly enjoyable day of proper rallying."
From co-driver Lofty Drews: "We just don´t care anymore. We are giving it hell."

Car No. 19 Paul & Mary-Ellen Kane
The Mustang finished the first section but has been seen stopped not far from the end of the second section. All is fine but the car is among those who has not yet arrived in Arusha.

Car No. 20 Paul-Eric Jarry
"That second section was one of the best that I have ever driven. It was wonderful. It´s nice to see that we are slowly coming up the results and we´re trying to do it by keeping the Porsche in good condition."

Car No. 21 Jonathan Savage
Unfortunately the local 260Z rolled 4 km from the end of the second section. The crew are both fine - the doctor drove in from the end of the section to give them the medical all clear.

Car No. 22 Albert Michiels
"Today was very good and we had no problem. The second section was very beautiful and I even had a chance to look at some of the scenery."

Car No. 25 John Rose
"Great. Classic stages - the best in the world. You could see the people watching were entertained. They don´t see rallies come through much these days. No problem with the car which seems to be as solid as a rock."

Car No. 26 Josef Pointinger
The Escort ran into the back of Joginder Singh´s official car in the thick dust on the transport section to the border. The crew are fine but unfortunately the car caught the spare wheel hung over the back of the Toyota Prado and did a lot of damage to the left front of the Escort including wrecking the radiator. It arrived in Arusha on a tow rope, having missed both of today´s sections. Pointinger said: "We´re fitting a new radiator and hammering out the car but at the moment the left hand side is 4cm shorter than the right hand side." The Escort is now in parc ferme and will therefore doubtless restart in the morning.

Car No. 29 Aslam Khan
"A nice day with just a few rough places. No trouble with the car so better than yesterday and even better than earlier in the week. We´ve got a slight oil leak from the rear but we believe it´s only from the engine breather."

Car No. 31 Imi Dewji
From co-driver Gabriele Mahler: "We had a good day. There were a few small problems with the car but nothing major. In the last section we pulled Hardev (Singh Sira) 13 km to the end. They were stopped on the road with battery problems."

Car No. 32 Larry Horn
"I liked the first section but I wasn´t so keen on the second. I´m not really interested in all that first and second gear stuff. We have tractors for that. It was also a problem for me to see over the 260Z´s long bonnet and on the muddy bit in the middle of the second section we looked to be headed for an accident where the choice was between a big drop on the left and a ditch on the right. You can guess which option I chose but the car came up out of the ditch OK and doesn´t appear to have a scratch."

Car No. 33 Roddy Sachs
"We burst a shock and broke a right rear wishbone about 25 km from the end of the last section. We hit a hole and I think Geoff (Bell) in one of the other 180Bs hit the same one. The sections were great, fantastic. In that last one I think I must have lost about 3 kilos in body weight from all the work I did."

Car No. 34 Ian & Val Swan
The Volvo broke a differential in the first section and they have come straight to Arusha.

Car No. 36 Shaheed Wissanji
"The car is much better today. We fixed the master cylinder for the brakes. We had some spares flown in from Mombasa late last night and then changed it before the first section. Now we´ve got brakes, we had a great day."

Car No. 37 David & Sarah Rayner
"OK and nothing with the car. We enjoyed that today even it was a bit slippery up on the top of that second section. When Stig came past us I wondered what motorway he was driving on."

Car No. 39 Rommy Bamrah
"Today was alright. The last section was quite muddy and we got stuck in the mud on a corner. Luckily Peter Harland pulled us out but we still lost about five minutes."

Car No. 41 Kurt Vanderspinnen
"That was a nice day in the office. No problems and I loved that second section - a real test of a rally driver."

Car No. 42 Bert Dolk
"About half way through the second section the Volvo broke one of its rear suspension mountings on the rear axle. There was nothing we could do to fix it so we just had to drive very slowly through the stage and get it to service. We lost maybe twenty minutes in the stage and by the time we got it fixed we were almost out of time on the transport section into Arusha."

Car No. 43 Tim Mammen
"We lost a rear damper on that second stage and thus drove most of it being a bit too careful. I think that was a mistake as in fact the car was pretty good even with the broken damper."

Car No. 44 Neil McGrigor
The Ford Mexico arrived in Arusha, having completed both of the competitive sections. There were no problems with the car. "And I haven´t run out of ´Alive and Kicking´ footballs yet," he said.

Car No. 45 Geoff Bell
"We hit a hole in the second section but there´s been no other problems. There was mud on that section and it was in a real tricky place but we managed to keep the 180B out of the ditch."

Car No. 46 Minesh Rathod
"We lost an alternator today and also an oil seal from the diff leaked oil out into the axle tube but it was a nice day and we had no other problems. We found it a bit rough in the second section but no complaints."

Car No. 47 Peter Harland
"We had a puncture on the first section. On the second section we pulled out the 240Z of Rommy Bamrah who to add insult to injury then overtook us. There was a good tussle between Escorts and the 260Zs."

Car No. 49 Jeremy Bennett
"I am absolutely shattered. That last section was so long. We had a slight altercation with a bush. We cut a corner and went straight through it and out the other side. I don´t think the co-driver noticed he was concentrating so hard on the roadbook. The Escort Mexico has been amazing - it´s taken an absolute pounding and it just keeps going."

Car No. 52 Iqbal Sagoo
"That second section was the most physically and mentally demanding section I´ve ever done. I thought it would never end. Hard but enjoyable. No problems with the car but we did modify the rear bumper a bit."

Car No. 53 Wayne Kieswetter
"We took it easy on the long stage, the second one, mainly to make sure we had the navigation right. We went for it when we could but we´re probably a bit slower than we ought to have been. It´s fair to say they were good sections."

Car No. 58 Michel Puchercos
"That last section was very very long and it was twisty just like the Swiss Alps. We had a rear puncture 100 km into it and it must have taken about five minutes to change. I´ll have a massage tonight and I´ll be ready for tomorrow.


» Pressrelease från Safarirallyt, www.eastafricansafarirally.com.

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