NAIROBI, November 27 – Swede Stig Bromqvist won his maiden Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally as the gruelling nine day event ended in Mombasa on Friday.
The 69 year-old 1984 World Rally Champion beat compatriot and Team-mate Richard Gorransson and Gregoire de Mevius to the podium with a cumulative loss of 15 hours, 14 minutes and seven seconds.
Alistair Cavenagh was the first Kenyan on fourth with debutant Raaji Bahrij the only other in the top 10 in sixth.
“We had a struggle for couple of days with collapsed rear suspension which ended our challenge for a podium position. Glad to be first Kenyan car back though,” stated, Cavenagh.
Three time Kenya Champion Carl “Flash’ Tundo who suffered multiple mechanical problems on his Triumph TR7 was one of the biggest movers on the leader dropping from fifth to 21st and eventually to 14th overall.
Tejveer Rai (Porsche) came in 12th and Kailesh Chauhan (Ford Escort MK2) of Mombasa Motor Club in 13th.
Stig who drove cautiously over the past two days went to the last day with his initial massive lead cut down to only five minutes by Goranssom but was able to pull two minutes off the later in the day’s opening section at Wundanyi/Shelembwa.
And by the time the Classic dust settled in the afternoon, Stig had won the rally by a 7.59minutes margin over Goransson.
Porsche drivers claimed the top five positions with only two Ford Escorts of Bharij and Swede Jan Hagman making the top 10 in the event saw drivers battle the wet conditions.
Stig becomes the second Swede to win the Safari Classic in a Tuthill Porsche after the late former WRC champion Björn Waldegard who did it in 2007 and in 2011 navigated by his son Mathias.
Outside the WRC, he won the British Rally Championship in 1983 and the Swedish Rally Championship several times.
At the Race of Champions, Blomqvist took the title “Champion of Champions” in 1989 and 1990.
Rob Collinge won the first two editions in his famous “Flying Sausage” Datsun.
Ian Duncan who failed to start this year’s event due to mechanical problems, won it in 2009 and 2013.