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Bamrah, navigator Jutley aim for top 10 finish in Classic race

A 1972 Datsun 240Z, which Rommy Bamrah and Harvey Jutley will competing in during the 10th East African Classic Safari Rally. [Courtesy]

Speed-merchant Rommy Bamrah and his navigator Harvey Jutley are hoping to achieve a strong finish in this year’s East African Safari Classic Rally.

The global motorsport showpiece will begin on Thursday in Naivasha and end on February 18.

The duo will comb the 5000km rough terrains of the rally that will end in Watamu in Kilifi, driving a 1972 Datsun 240Z Sports coupe.

They believe the car they have already moulded to specifications is much ready for the task ahead.

The duo's first attempt in the gruelling biannual competition was in 2007, where they finished 23rd out of 59 entrants.

Since then, the rally crew has steadily improved their results that saw them finish 16th overall in the 2017 edition.

They are confident to perform better this time out especially after getting support from Komatsu earth moving equipment distributor, the Panafrican Equipment Group.

While announcing the sponsorship deal, Panafrican Equipment Kenya Ltd General Manager Michael Ohawa, said; "Reliability is the main requirement for success in the demanding 10-day 5,000 kilometre journey. This mirrors the strength of our products which we sell and service.”

“My colleagues and I will be following the daily progress of Rommy and Harvey with keen interest as they tackle the rough and tough roads. They have our best wishes for a safe and successful rally.”

On his part, Bamrah is raring to go.

“We are grateful with the backing from our sponsors and hope to fulfil their expectations. The legendary Rob Collinge won the first of the East African Safari Classics in a Datsun 240Z. This has been followed by strong top 10 finishes in another 240Z by Geoff Bell of South Africa," said Bamrah.

"We feel we have made the right choice of car. While Harvey has the heavy responsibility of navigating, I will be enjoying driving what I know is a speedy and strong rally machine. My first experience with the Classic Safari came in 2003 when I was the route opener.

"Accordingly, we will be pacing ourselves to reach the end of the course at Watamu.”

The duo is seeded third alongside Mark Bentley, Quentin Mitchell, Demon Vos, Simon Connolly, Aslam Khan, Kailesh Chauhan, Eric Bengi, Rajesh Maini and Mitch McCullough.