Day 4 – Arusha to Amboseli
The adventure continues for the entire Kick Energy Amigos Rally Team as the rally reached its half way point today. Day 4 of the 2013 East African Classic Safari Rally saw the crews return to Kenya tackling almost 700 kilometres today between leaving Arusha and arriving in Amboseli but it wasn’t plain sailing for any of the BTR-prepared Datsun 260Zs.
When fifth placed Geoff Bell broke a wishbone on the opening 117 kilometre long section, this along with a clean run for the Amigos Tequila-flavoured beer branded car of Steve Perez and John Millington elevated the pair to fourth position but their joy was short lived as a heavy landing on a rock at the flying finish of the next stage damaged the clutch.
This was only discovered en-route to Athi River for the spectator stage where temporary repairs were effected but Steve was forced to tackle the final section of the day, the 87 kilometres from Parane to Il Bessel with no clutch. The resultant time loss has dropped him back behind G-WRC rival and team-mate Geoff Bell but still climbed the leaderboard a place to fifth.
“We’ve had it all today,” announced Steve at the end of day service. “From flat out sections to hidden ditches, some light rain, a nasty rock in one section and then driving nearly 150 kilometres with no clutch. If we didn’t appreciate it already, this rally really is a true test of both man and machine.”
Co-driver John Millington, who works for the M-Sport World Rally Team, was amazed at this, the fourth day of rallying commenting: “Today, in one day, we did more distance than we do in an entire World Rally Championship event, its incredible!”
Tonight the crews and cars are resting in the shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro, the snow capped extinct volcano that is not only the tallest mountain in Africa but is also the highest free standing mountain in the world. Outside their bedrooms Steve and John will see elephants feeding in Amboseli National Park and will hear lions roaring during the night. This bi-annual event really is a true safari.
Tomorrow is a rest day and only a limited amount of time is allowed to re-prepare the rally cars before the final half of this nine day marathon event. Ahead of the crews are another 616 kilometres before the finish of the rally on Friday afternoon.
Provisional Results to end of Day 4
1 Stig Blomqvist/Staffan Parmander – Porsche 911 – 09:34.53
2 Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch – Ford Capri – 09:35.43
3 Gerard Marcy/Stephan Prevot – Porsche 911 – 09:43.54
4 Geoff Bell/Tim Challen – Datsun 260Z – 09:57.06
5 Steve Perez/John Millington – Datsun 260Z – 10:04.08
6 Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager – Porsche 911 – 10:05.55
7 David Horsey/Alex Horsey – Porsche 911 – 10:06.05
8 Phillip Vendromme/Federic Vivier – Porsche 911 – 10:11.54
9 John Lloyd/Gavin Laurence – Ford Escort – 10:11.56
10 Andrew Siddall/ Carl Williamson – Datsun 260Z – 10:19.20
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 943.18
Completed Road Kilometres 1262.72
Elapsed Stage Time 10 hrs, 4 mins, 58 secs
Pictures attached (courtesy Mayes Media): Steve Perez in action on Day 4 of the 2013 Kenya Airways East African Safari Rally in the Amigos Datsun 260Z