By: ABDUL SIDI
Sweden’s Stiq Blomqvist on Wednesday inched closer to victory after maintaining the lead on Day Seven of the 2015 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally with just six of the 24 competitive stages left.
Blomqvist, in a Porsche 911, will lead the drivers on the penultimate day of the competition that starts this morning at Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha.
Alastair Cavenagh’s run of bad lack continued after he was forced out of one of the stages with a recurrence of a damaged suspension that was repaired a day earlier.
Carl Tundo’s Triumph TR7 produced one its best performances yesterday after mechanical problems which have affected the crew in the last few days.
“For once we were the happiest drivers to be in a Triumph TR7 that was moving smoothly and without issues, although a minor problem occurred in the second stage yesterday. I think it made history as the first Triumph to record a fastest stage time in African,’’ said Tim Jessop, a former navigator champion in the Kenya National Rally Championship series.
With a lead of over one hour separating Blomqvist from the local drivers, the Swede looks set to play a psychological game to stay at the top without taking serious risks. The former world champion has immense knowledge and experience of local conditions, having participated in past editions of the Safari Rally. His best result so far in the competition is second overall behind Ian Duncan in 2013.
Sweden’s Richard Gorensson and fellow European driver, Gregoire de Mevius of Belgium stand a better chance of displacing Blomqvist at the top.
RESULTS AFTER DAY 7
1. Stig Blomqvist/Stephane Prevot (Porsche 911-Swe) 726:56
2. Richard Goransson/Emil Axelsson (Porsche 911-Sw) 734:7
3. Gregoire de Mevius/N. Gilsoul (Porsche 911-Bel) 747:46
4. Geoff Bell/Tim Challen (Datsun 260Z-South Africa) 793:1
5. Bernard Munster/Johan Gitsels (Porsche 911-Bel) 796:49
6. A. Cavenagh/Gavin Laurence (Porsche 911-Ke) 806:12
7. Joakim Roman/J. Fornander (Porsche 911-Swe) 815:21
8. Jayant Shah/Ravi Chana (Porsche 911-Tanzania) 825.11
9. Raaji Bharij/Ranjeet Sehmi (Ford Escort – Ke) 834:32
10. Steve Troman/Calvin Cooledge (Porsche 911 –Brit) 837:0
SOURCE: DAILY NATION