Drivers ready for the East African Safari Classic Rally

By: ABDUL SIDI

Majority of local and international drivers and their cars have already arrived in Mombasa ahead of the 2015 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally that begins on Thursday morning.

Aslam Khan, one of the leading Classic Rally drivers in Kenya, said that together with his team was already at the Coast looking forward to his seventh consecutive edition of the marathon rally.

‘’We are well prepared as a team for the nine-day competition. It has been long time trying to get everything in its place and now time has come for us to focus on the competition with full commitment.

“The much talked about weather has not affected the rally yet though I feel that threat has now passed through,’’ said Aslam.

Aslam will be at the wheels of the Porsche 911 with his brother, Arshard as his navigator.

Arshad has helped his elder brother finish three Classic rallies while the other two were achieved with the help of his nephew Fahraaz.

SCRUTINEERING STARTS

The first part of the programme started on Sunday with documentation and scrutineering of the rally cars.

The technical team spent most of Sunday afternoon at the Vipingo Ranch where several cars belonging to the Viking and Turthill Teams are based.

While other officials were looking at the technical sides of the rally, a separate crew had completed its duties of checking the route before rally cars move into action at high speeds.

“We are thankful to God so far with no threats or reports of the anticipated rains. The Route opener has already gone through the Tanzanian sector that was found to be all clear and no serious changes to the stages though some parts have become slightly rougher. Mombasa and its surroundings remain dry as of today, according to Event Manager, Ashok Bhalla.

The rally will start from Mombasa on Thursday before spreading its wings over Tanzania through Amboseli, Namanga, Lake Manyara, Arusha and back to Mombasa via the Taveta border on November 27.

The KQ-sponsored event will be about 3,331 kilometres long divided into 24 competitive stages over a period of nine days.

Eighty percent of the stages are new and have never been raced on before. The total competitive stage will be 2,000kms. .

Meanwhile, both Kenya Shell and Copy Cat will play their part as minor sponsors of the Classic rally.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION