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Safari Classic set for grandstand finale

DUNCAN-CLASSICTAITA, Nairobi, November 29 – With a day and three competitive sections to go, the East African Safari Classic Rally is headed for a grandstand finish with the leading pair separated by seconds.

Stig Blomqvist left Naivasha Thursday morning in his Tuthill Porsche 911 with a scanty lead of 59 seconds over Kenyan hope Ian Duncan in his Ford Capri V8 and promptly made his mark by setting a fastest time on the first competitive section that was three minutes and three seconds faster than his pursuer who suffered a puncture.

But then Blomqvist’s luck took a downturn and he sustained a puncture and lost four minutes and eight seconds to

Duncan who promptly moved back into the front with a lead of six seconds over the Swedish, ex-World Rally Champion.
On the third and last competitive section of the day, it was Duncan who again had the advantage and extended his lead – by another three seconds to a total of nine seconds.

Behind these two, there have been few changes. The Horseys had been looking to make progress themselves on the man ahead of them, Steve Perez in the Amigos Datsun 260Z who had started the day more than six minutes ahead of them.

However, they are still over three minutes behind Perez and another Kenyan crew Rai and Chager have made up some time and are now only 16 seconds behind them.

By virtue of a sterling performance on the first section, Gregoire de Mevius put his BMA Porsche 911 back into the top ten by gobbling up the thirteen seconds that he lagged behind Phillipe van Heurck also Porsche mounted.

He then led van Heurck by more than two and half minutes. He repeated the performance on the second section going two and half minutes quicker than Kenyan, Manvir Baryan in a Porsche 911 to grab ninth place overall, albeit by a mere five seconds.

At the end of the day, he was promoted to eighth by Geoff Bell’s misfortunes in his Datsun 260Z who broke his differential on the third section.

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However de Mevius stands little hope of advancing further without major trouble striking those ahead of him since he lies almost twenty-three minutes behind John Lloyd in his Viking Autosport Ford Escort Mk2 in seventh place.
Top 10 provisional results at end of day eight (Thursday 28 November)

1. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch: Ford Capri 15hr10m06s
2. Stig Blomqvist/Staffan Parmander: Tuthill Porsche 911 15hr10m15s
3. Gerard Marcy/Stephane Prevot: Tuthill Porsche 911 15hr39m42s
4. Steve Perez/John Millington: Datsun 260Z 16hr01m30s
5. David Horsey/Alex Horsey: Tuthill Porsche 911 16hr04m39s
6. Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager: Porsche 911 16hr04m55s
7. John Lloyd/Adrian Cavenagh: Ford Escort RS1800 16hr16m42s
8. Gregoire De Mevius/Alain Guehennec: Porsche 911 16hr41m15s
9. Manvir Baryan/Jaswinder Chanda: Porsche 911 16hr45m23s
10. Patrick Van Heurck/Alain Lopes: Tuthill Porsche 911 16hr51m52s

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