MOMBASA, Kenya, December 1-The 2009 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally finally ended yesterday with Ian Duncan taking victory of the famous world marathon event after leading it from start to finish.
The former Safari Rally champion and multiple winner of the Kenya National Rally Championship titles, scored a historic win over one of the best known world rally icon and defending Safari Classic Rally champion, Bjorn Waldeggard of Sweden.
“It is one of the sweetest rally victories of my life. It was hard work and at times stressful but the service crew did fantastic job. Amo was excellent and my sponsors could not have helped more than this. Goodyear, Sopa Lodges, CMC and Tangaza were great,’’ said Duncan.
The Kenyan household name worked a strategy that, even one of the world’s best known rally drivers, Bjorn Waldegaard could apprehend in his attempt to win the title for the second edition running.
“I was waiting for Duncan to have a major problem but he drove very well and technically good. His preparation on the Mustang was excellent and it proved a good car. I will keep coming to try and win the rally,’’ said Waldegaard.
One would have expected Duncan to ease off of going into the final day with a comfortable good lead, but that was the plan as he went quickest in all the remaining stages of the day to emerge winner by over a 10-minute margin over Waldegaard’s Porsche 911.
Waldegaard, winner of the Safari Rally on four different occasions and victor in three of the world’s most punishing rallies in 1977; the East African Safari Rally, the Acropolis Rally, and the RAC Rallywas placed second overall.
Jonathan Savage and his sons Quentin and Russell made history by finishing the rally in the 11th and 13th respectively.
Senior Savage was in a Datsun 260Z and the boys in a Datsun 180B that not only finished the rally but scored a three second fastest time in the final sections of the competition.
Aziz Tejpar and Andy Nagi finished in the 12th on their Classic Rally debut driving a Ford Escort.
Malindi-based Stefano Rocca ended the rally with fastest stage time in the last section. His 203/05 winning Datsun 260Z was placed in the 16th place.
Kishen Bandheri and Keith Henrie brought their “tired” looking Datsun 1600sss to the 18th place, while another the Mitsubishi Colt Lancer of Minesh Rathod and Sachin Sumaria was placed 16th overall.
Former national champion and veteran rally drivers from the olden days, Jayant Shah and Lofty Drews brought their Datsun 260Z to the 22nd place.
Provisional Final Results:
1. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Ford Mustang EAK/EAK) 17hrs:47mins:40sec.
2. Bjorn Waldegaard/Igbal Sagoo (Porsche S/USA) 17:57:29
3. Steve Perez/Staffan Parmander (Datsun 260Z GB/S) 18:55:51
4. Gerard Marcy/Stephane Prevot (Porshe 911 B/B) 19:20:52
5. Thomas Flohr/Didier Breton (Porsche 911 CH/F) 20:10:27
6. Graham Alexander/Ross Runnalls (Datsun 260Z Aus/Aus) 20:37:18
7. Steve Troman/Calvin Cooledge (Porsche 911 GB/GB) 20:50:53
8. Jean-Pierre Mondron/Dan Ecrulisse (Porsche 911 B/B) 21:32:41
9. Paul-Eric Jerry/Jean-Francois Andreoli (Porsche 911 F/F) 21:35:47
10. Geoff Bell/Tim Chalen (Datsun 180B SA/EAK) 22:27:47
11. Jonathan Savage/Gavin Laurence (Datsun 260Z EAK/EAK) 22:01:55
12. Aziz Tejpar/Andy Nagi (Ford Escort GB/EAK) 22:01:57
13. Quinten Savage/Russel Savage (Datsun 180B EAK/EAK) 22:05:19
14. Richard Arrowsmith/Norris Midwood (Ford Escort GB/GB ) 22:32:04
15. Samit Gehlot/Asit Patel (Ford Escort Mk1 EAK/EAK) 22:39:19 16.