WRC Safari Rally legend Ian Duncan inspired to revisit sweet memories of 1994

Safari rally legend Ian Duncan during the official unveiling of his sponsorship deal for the East Africa Classic Safari Rally by the Farmers Choice at their head offices. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The 11th edition of the East African Safari Classic Rally (EASCR) is just around the corner and the 63 drivers involved are busy panel-beating their machines into shapes.

One of the drivers dreaming to make a repeat of his nostalgic memories is the five-time Kenya National Rally champion Ian Duncan.

Duncan is eager to revisit the sweet moments of 1994 when he rose to the occasion to win the tough World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally champion while racing under the Farmer's Choice umbrella.

Interestingly, Duncan's dream to replicate a similar fete in the EASCR was on Tuesday in Nairobi boosted by the same sponsors who have now come on board to support him ahead of the forthcoming championship.

Apart from helping him to return his 1978 Datsun 280Z machine back on the road, Farmers Choice has paid for his entry fees and other related logistics for the classic rally that will rev off in Kilifi on December 8.

Duncan and his navigator Jaspal Matharu believe the lucrative sponsorship will give them an edge over other participants in the 4000km gruelling journey that will traverse 11 counties including Nakuru, Nairobi, and Mombasa among others.

"I'm honoured to be back, we want to make 'The Flying Sausage' great again.

"We are now aiming to win this classic rally, if not to make another podium finish," Duncan told Standard Sports.

"We have done a lot of preparations to get the car ready, we have done several tests including taking part in the recently concluded Guru Nanak Rally to gauge the vehicle.

"Currently, we are fine-tuning the car while doing other basic preparations like weatherproofing because the roads will be muddy due to the El Nino Rains," he underlined.

Duncan predicts the weather will be such a great challenge in the rally but thanks the government for trying to fix the main roads that have been washed away by the floods.

"The roads will be extremely muddy, tricky, pretty rough with ditches and prominent rocks, but this is what makes the classic rally tough and full of fun," he stated.

Duncan and Matharu have come up with a plan that will help them navigate the soggy conditions during the rally and part of it will be to drive as quick as possible so as to avoid unnecessary breakdowns.

"But it is a rally, anything can happen, I'll just try to avoid very silly things, do the best we can so we can have a good competition," he said.

Duncan admits they will be under pressure to perform as they are not willing to let their fans, sponsors and teams down.

His sentiments were echoed by Matharu who explained they have done lots of preparations with the car including checking on every single bolt and nut and other nitty-gritty issues to make the machine perfect for the tedious terrains.

Farmer's Choice Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Taylor said they are delighted to re-sponsor Duncan after such a protracted period.

"We have been monitoring Duncan for over 30 years since the first sponsorship and we are quite impressed with his motorsport progress.

"We are hopeful that they will win this year's rally so as to revisit the sweet memories of 1994," Taylor underlined.

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