NAIROBI, Kenya November 23 – CYN Energy-sponsored and champion Ian Duncan saw his title defense diminish at the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally when a rear wheel came off in the day’s opening stage consting him massively.
His carroty Ford Capri stopped at CS7 Komolo Road – Jeshini after it suffered broken rear wheel studs which they immediately realized when the ‘wild wheel’ came off and overtook them as they limped all the way to the next time-control.
By the time of going to press, Duncan’s Ford Capri was yet to check in at Mount Meru Hotel’s parc ferme in Arusha after it stalled again on CS9 with a problem we couldn’t immediately confirm.
Bjorn Waldegard looked calm and contented with his last day in Tanzania yesterday what with a pleasant overnight lead.
Waldegard clung to the lead for the third day running with Gregoire De Mevius of Belgium giving him a good chase in second place while his compatriot Gerald Marcy went to bed with third place despite the five minutes penalty he suffered on Tuesday as a result of a first offense of service infringement.
Geoff Bell from South Africa is lying fourth and Canadian philanthropist Steve Funk in fifth place.
Waldegard was all smiles: “The most dramatic thing was the first stage in the morning when we had the first barrier -those ones crossing the road- and this wasn’t opened so we had to make the horn before a man could open for us.”
The father-and-son crew is gunning for a repeat performance of the 2007 edition of the Safari Classic Rally which they had won together in a Ford Escort.
Otherwise, Waldegard reported no major problems at the close of Day 3 which took crews to the sections around Komolo, Mjerumani and Mbulu.
De Mevius was left to rue what culminated into disappointment.
“We had a very good first stage which we won, then we did equal time in the short one after but in the next stage the engine cut once for a few seconds. So we were worried but we moved on to the end. But in the last one, the engine started to misfire again and 12kilometers before the end it stopped completely,” said De Mevius.
Kulwinder Sandu of Kenya was running really well and set the 16th fastest time on CS8. Kenyan Ramesh Vishram rolled his Ford Escort (car no.39) in a wet path of the first stage when he encountered an oncoming motorbike and swerved; only to bounce on the black cotton. Luckily no one was injured.
South African Geoff Bell and Tim Challen were having good fun albeit hitting a tree.
“It’s fantastic. It’s really good fun. We just had a problem again with another tree.
Last year we hit a tree which caused a major damage on my side and this time we hit another tree on Tim’s (Challen) side just to even the books. And then we had trouble with the dust from (Gerald) Marcy and got a puncture on that stage,” said Bell.
PROVISIONAL DAY 3 LEADERBOARD-ARUSHA
1.Bjorn Waldegard (SWE, Porsche 911) 7.02.33hours
2.Gregoire De Mevius (BEL, Porsche 911) 7.10.28
3. Gerald Marcy (BEL, Porsche 911) 7.31.53
4. Geoff Bell (RSA, Datsun 240Z) 7.32.56
5. Steve Funk (CAN, Porsche 911) 7.58.47
6. Jean-Pierre Mondon (BEL, Porsche 911) 8.31.30
7. Stig Blomqvist (SWE, Ford Escort RS1800) 8.35.49
8. Franz Wundenrich (GER, Porsche 911) 8.41.33
9. Plilipe Vandrome (FRA, Porsche 911) 8.52.43
10. Steve Perez (GB, Datsun 260Z) 8.56.21