"These past two days of racing the East African Safari Rally have been unforgettable," says American rally and drift guru Ken Block.
Rally driver Ken Block in full praise of Safari Classic
The American is currently fourth on the log
Block expressed his love for the East Africa Safari Classic Rally following the cancel of his lead after suffering a puncture in stage five, Laikipia West-Moguni on Friday, February 11.
The first stage, Ol Kalou-Ndaragwa through the Aberdare ranges was a 49km hell for rubber test through twisty roads never before used in any rally.
Philip Kadorie of Hungary in a Porsche 911 was quickest clocking 21.09.2 min followed by Kenyan Piers Daykin in a Datsun 240Z.
The Laikipia West Moguni (100.2km) section was in some parts familiar, effectively giving the local an advantage as Daykin was 35 seconds faster than Sandel, showing how evenly matched these drivers are.
Their vast experience showed that though an endurance rally, the Classic can also become a sprint.
“The race is all blind, you use a route book that tells you about the hazards, where to turn at the junction, speed zones through the villages, where the finish is among others. The rally is a big adventure and we are learning a lot along the way,” said Block.
When asked what he thinks of the Kenyan roads, Block said: “They are fast, narrow tracks, rough stuff with wild animals and jumps. They are exceptional, very tough but thrilling, I’m enjoying it.”
Saturday’s first stage results might show improved times in the repeat Moguni-Il Polei stage run in reverse. Spectators will enjoy the action in the vast wilderness and wildlife. It will be 16km be longer than Friday’s distance.
This will be followed by the 89km Dol Dol-Ewaso section, a really tough endurance outing that will test both drivers and their cars.
Fast, narrow and twisty roads in Loldaiga-Golf Gate stage await the navigators who will be expected to read the notes to perfection.