Day 2 – Taita Hills to Arusha
Following a relatively uneventful opening day, Day 2 of the 2013 East African Safari Classic Rally saw mixed fortunes for the Kick Energy Amigos Rally Team.
Andrew Siddall and Carl Williamson lost a vast amount of time in the opening section and dropped down the leaderboard to 22nd overall but triple British champion Steve Perez and co driver John Millington have improved their ranking to end the day directly just behind G-WRC rivals Geoff Bell and Tim Challen in eighth position.
The BTR-prepared historic specification Amigos Tequila-flavoured beer branded Datsun 260Z of Perez and Millington had a steady run through the opening test which was almost a reverse run of the final test yesterday. After adjusting the suspension at final service last night, Chesterfield-based Steve was much happier at the end of the opening section and the crew set off to the second section with renewed confidence.
At 116 kilometres, the run from Emali to the boundary of the Amboseli National Park had a combination of everything including fast sections, lots of rough stretches and even a two kilometre long dust bowl that reduced visibility to almost nothing.
The stage began well but then a hard impact over a blind jump damaged a ball joint which meant that Steve had to back off to conserve the car. This coupled with the slightest of navigational errors cost the pair a certain top ten time but their steady runs have still seen them climb the leaderboard and end the day in eighth position overall.
Steve commented: “I’m glad to be in Arusha. The rally is now two days old and we are settling into a good rhythm. The car is handling much better since we made the changes last night, although there was confusion this morning when I mistakenly set my alarm for the wrong time and had to dash to get the car out of Parc Ferme just in time. I needed a second espresso after that!”
The proposed third stage was cancelled and run non-competitively meaning Steve or any of the three Amigos couldn’t improve their positions.
Day 3 will see the crews contest some of the most spectacular roads that Tanzania has to offer and begins with the longest section of the whole rally. At 154.14 kilometres, this one stage is longer than an entire British Rally Championship event. With barely time for a coffee, the crews then head for the daunting Mbulu Escarpment including sheer drops and a summit that is frequently in the clouds and this iconic road is running downhill for the first time in a number of years. In total the crews will have covered some 249 competitive kilometres before they return to Arusha tomorrow evening.
- When it was time for the Datsun to be removed from Parc Ferme for the end of day service the removable steering wheel would not re-engage and eventually a screwdriver was inserted into the splines on the steering bracket and the car driven into service that way! Fortunately Steve will not be expected to drive it in this manner tomorrow as the issue has now been rectified!
Results to end of Day 2
1 Ian Duncan/ Amaar Slatch – Ford Capri – 03:43.58
2 Stig Blomqvist/ Staffan Parmander – Porsche 911 – 03:45.00
3 Bjorn Waldegard/ Mathias Waldegard – Porsche 911 – 03:46.26
4 Gregoire De Mevius/ Alain Guehennec – Porsche 911 – 03:48.02
5 Gerard Marcy/ Stephan Prevot – Porsche 911 – 03:49.16
6 Bernard Munster/ Johan Gitsel – Porsche 911 – 03:49.51
7 Geoff Bell/ Tim Challen – Datsun 260Z – 03:51.52
8 Steve Perez/ John Millington – Datsun 260Z – 03:59.54
9 Phillip Vendromme/Federic Vivier – Porsche 911 – 04:00.30
10 David Horsey/Alex Horsey – Porsche 911 – 04:02.37
22 Andrew Siddall/ Carl Williamson – Datsun 260Z – 04:20.36
Further information is available by following Steve Perez Rallying on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/steve.perezrallying and on Twitter @steveperezrallying. For further information on the company’s products, including Amigos beer, please visitwww.globalbrands.co.uk and the team’s official rally website iswww.steveperez.co.uk.
Daily bulletins are being issued by the Kick Energy Amigos Rally Team press officers Geoff Mayes and Larry Carter throughout the event. For further details please visitwww.eastafricansafarirally.com
Event Total Stage Kilometres 1699.31
Event Total Road Kilometres 2124.19
Completed Stage Kilometres 658.89
Completed Road Kilometres 157.07
Elapsed Stage Time 3hrs 59mins 54secs
Pictures attached (courtesy Mayes Media): Steve Perez in action on Day 2 of the 2013 Kenya Airways East African Safari Rally in the Amigos Datsun 260Z