Old Is Gold: Veteran brothers Khans back in Classic Rally

Aslam Khan's car during last year's East African Classic Rally media partnership launch at the Standard Group offices along Mombasa Road. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

They say old is gold, this adage perfectly describes veteran brothers Aslam and Arshad Khan who are back to the East African Safari Classic Rally (EASCR) saddle for the tenth time.

The 11th edition of the rally will rev-off in Kilifi on Saturday and will traverse 4000km, passing through 11 Kenyan counties before ending in Ukunda on December 18.

The Khan brothers have only missed the epic race once, in 2017, when their registration did not go through.

Racing under the ALS Team banner, the duo who have a combined age of 150 years, say their target this season is a top 15 finish.

The rally oldies have perfectly worked on their Porsche 911 machine which they are confident will ruffle feathers in the epic duel.

"We are under minimal pressure, hopefully this will work to our advantage," Aslam, 70, told Standard Sports.

"We are out to have fun. When having some fun, you actually do better in the race as there is minimal pressure," he said

The Khans were inspired into rallying by their uncle Saeed who started competing way back at the coronation Safari Rally of 1953.

Apart from the Khan brothers, the ALS Team has entered two more cars in the race (Ford Escorts) to be driven by Farhaaz Khan /Keith Henrie and Shakeel Khan / Assad Mughal.

Similarly, Mughal says their minimal target is to finish in the top 15.

"We have planned to take it one day at a time, save the cars, and get to the finish line in Watamu. We want to get the three cars safely to the finish line," Mughal underlined.

"So, everyone will have to be careful. The essence is to keep it clean and bring the car home daily. After the rest day, we'll analyse where we lie, and then we can up the pace if needed. That's always the time when it dawns. This is real. This is happening. All the weeks and months of preps have now led us here," he added.

Just like the Khan brothers, Shakeel and Mughal have always enjoyed good Safari outings together in the Classic and the Mini Classics.

The ALS Team has assured that all their three toys have been rebuilt, rechecked and sufficiently tested in readiness for the forthcoming event.

Other local drivers listed in the coming contest include the Equatorial Classic Rallying Team which has entered two cars to be steered by Raaji Singh Bharij/ Rajay Sehmi and Anthony Nielsen /Amaar Slatch, both in a Ford Escort MK2.

Ian Duncan and Jaspal Matharu return to the event in a 'Flying Sausage' Datsun 280Z.

Another all-Kenyan crew has Steve Parkinson and Russell Parkinson in a Ford Escort MK2.

 All-rounder Robert Calder is teaming up with Gavin Laurence in a Datsun 280Z.

Terra Safi Eco duo of Nish Lakhani and Teeku Patel return to the bucket seats of their Datsun 1600 SSS hoping to give foreign drivers a run for their money.

Rommy Bamrah will be navigated by Harvey Jutley also in a Datsun 280Z.

The 2003 Safari Rally winner Glen Edmunds has entered a Skoda in the company of Lloyd Destro.

Kenya's Rajesh Maini and Devan Bhundia will steer a Ford Escort MK1 under the Viking Motorsport / Team USN livery.

Former Kenya navigator champion Piers Daykin will be navigated by Tariq Malik in a Datsun 280Z.

Eric Bengi and Tony Gikuhi are also listed in the event as well as Ford Escort MK2's crew of Kyle Lucas and Imran Ahmed

Lastly, defending champion Baldev Singh Chager is with Gareth Dawe in a Porsche 911.

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