Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally Director Ashok Bhalla.
A few changes have been made to the initial programme of the seventh Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally.
Event Director Ashok Bhalla said the spectators stage has ben moved from Vipingo in Kilifi County to Nguu Tatu in Kiembeni Estate, Mombasa County.
Bhalla said Vipingo area has been busy with road construction work thus making it hard for the rally drivers to use that part of the route.
“We are sorry that the rally fraternity in Kilifi would not be able to watch the rally cars manoeuvre their way on the muddy routes,” said Bhalla.
However, Bhalla said Nguu Tatu has been approved to be the venue for the spectators’ course on November 21 when the rally starts.
“The cars will head straight to Nguu Tatu after the flag off by the Mombasa County Governor, Hassan Joho,” he said.
A total of 60 cars will complete in the 4,300km rally, which will have a 2,000km competitive route traversing Kenya and Tanzania.
Bhalla said the heavy rains experienced in most parts of the country was a blessing to the rally organisers as dusty routes come with numerous challenges to machines.
Bhalla said Kenya has 13 drivers while Tanzania has two with the rest coming from Europe. The Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally is one of the hardest events globally and drivers will be looking forward to winning the prestigious event this time round.
Drivers will observe a one minute silence in honour of the late legendary rally driver Joginder Singh who passed on recently.
Auto Marine Services was busy with mechanics working on some of the cars, which have already arrived in Mombasa. Most of the drivers and their crews are expected in Mombasa tomorrow.
At the same time, Bhalla said the rally’s headquarters has been moved from Nairobi to Mombasa where it will be based until the end of the rally on November 29. Scrutineering of the rally cars commences on Monday with drivers’ briefings a day before the start of the rally.
Meanwhile, new entries have been brought on board the final list.
Bhalla said that some drivers, who had earlier confirmed their availability have withdrawn to free up space on the start list.
Paolo Faldini, one of the Tuthill Porsche 911s, will not be in Mombasa to start the rally after he injured his left wrist. However, Tuthills have brought in David and Alex Horsey. David was the 984 African Continent Rally Champion driving a Group B Peugeot 504 pick-up.
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