Day 6 – Naivasha Sopa to Naivisha Sopa
Competitive Day 6 saw car number 7, the Amigos Tequila-flavoured beer branded car of Steve Perez and John Millington, grimly hang onto their fourth position overall on the 2013 East African Classic Safari Rally.
Today’s route was shortened to 116 kilometres of competitive mileage but that didn’t mean that it was easy going. The crews faced everything from short sharp rain showers to thick clouds of fine dust, with the odd deep river crossing to add some variety.
The route for today saw the rally competing on private wildlife conservancies around the Lake Naivasha region of the Rift Valley. The opening blast through the Kedong Ranch might only have been 32 kilometres long but it featured long stretches of thick dust that Steve likened to driving in snow storms in Sweden, except slightly warmer.
The hampered visibility also meant that navigation was tricky but former road rallying champion John Millington was in his element and the pair did well to hold off the locals behind them. The longest section of the day was through the Soysambu Wildlife Conservancy where twice the BTR/Dansport-prepared Datsun 260Z was forced to slow for herds of zebra galloping across the plains in front of them and Steve even spied a giraffe watching from behind an Acacia tree!
The big talk of this second section was the series of river crossings, each deeper than the previous one. But lessons learned in 2011 meant that the rivers presented no problems and Steve and John ended the day with an increased gap between themselves and the Porsche of former African Rally champion David Horsey directly behind him.
Steve commented: “Today might have been short but that definitely did not make it easy. Wildlife, rivers, thick dust and tricky navigation were all on the agenda today. The car did well, the co-driver did brilliantly and the driver, possibly, deserves a pat on the back as well!”
Kick Energy Amigos team-mates Geoff Bell/Tim Challen and Andrew Siddall/Carl Williamson lie in eighth and 17th place respectively as the battle for G-WRC honours continues.
There are still two days left of this epic event and ahead of them, the crews still face almost 900 kilometres of varied African roads before the finish, back on the East coast of Africa.
Tomorrow, competitive Day 7, has three competitive sections, beginning with an almost reverse run of the classic Suswa section, which sees crews climb out of the Rift Valley and back up towards Nairobi. The second section is a 32 kilometre stretch down towards the Mombasa road and then the final section is another run through the scenic Taita Hills.
Provisional Results to end of Competitive Day 6
1 Stig Blomqvist/Staffan Parmander – Porsche 911 – 13:18.45
2 Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch – Ford Capri – 13:19.44
3 Gerard Marcy/Stephan Prevot – Porsche 911 – 13:42.21
4 Steve Perez/John Millington – Datsun 260Z – 14:03.37
5 David Horsey/Alex Horsey – Porsche 911 – 14:09.49
6 Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager – Porsche 911 – 14:12.03
7 John Lloyd/Gavin Laurence – Ford Escort – 14:15.02
8 Geoff Bell/Tim Challen – Datsun 260Z – 14:16.27
9 Manvir Baryan/Jaswinder Chana – Porsche 911 – 14:40.00
10 Patrick van Heurck/Alain Lopez – Porsche 911 – 14:47.59
17 Andrew Siddall/ Carl Williamson – Datsun 260Z – 15:28.47
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 1621.31
Event Total Road Kilometres 2124.19
Completed Stage Kilometres 1279.12
Completed Road Kilometres 1604.88
Elapsed Stage Time: 14 hrs, 3 mins, 37 secs
Pictures attached (courtesy Mayes Media): Steve Perez in action on Competitive Day 6 of the 2013 Kenya Airways East African Safari Rally in the Amigos Datsun 260Z