Competitive Day 8 – Taita Hills to Mombasa
After nine gruelling days, eight of which were competitive, and over 3,700 kilometres of some of the roughest and most scenic roads in Africa, the Amigos Tequila-flavoured beer branded car of Chesterfield’s Steve Perez and Yorkshire co-driver John Millington has reached the finish of the 2013 East African Safari Classic Rally in fourth position, having withstood the pressures of both a Kenyan and an African rally champion chasing them across Kenya and Tanzania.
Steve and John, in their BTR-prepared Datsun 260Z, overcame an altercation with a tree, deep river crossings, thick volcanic sand, buses and other traffic coming in the opposite direction and even wildlife on the road to finish the world famous rally behind three professional rally drivers.
Today’s final day of the rally saw the cars travel from the beautiful Taita Hills down to the hot and humid coast of Kenya. The only drama of the day was a misfire in the very last section of the entire rally but Steve still managed to set second fastest time on this 85 kilometre section.
A jubilant Steve commented afterwards: “Sometimes the gazelle manages to outrun the lion! For four days ‘Ive had the Kenyan National Rally champion chasing us and we managed to keep him at bay. This is quite easily the toughest rally I have ever done. I know I said that about the 2011 event but this year was even harder. This year was a lot faster and a lot rougher, and the pace at the front was incredibly fast. I have to hand it to my team, they build a good, reliable, strong car and I also owe a big thank you to my ‘novice’ Safari co-driver John Millington, he never put a foot wrong all rally, and there was some really tricky navigation at times. I’m also top G-WRC driver so that’s an added bonus!”
This well deserved result also means that Steve has finished fifth (2011), third (2009) and now fourth overall on this nine day marathon across East Africa. Ahead of the three times British and National rally champion at the finish were multiple Kenyan Rally champion, former Safari rally winner and ex Toyota works driver Ian Duncan who won the event. Behind him was 1984 World Rally champion Stig Blomqvist and third overall was former Lada works Dakar driver Gerard Marcy. Immediately behind Steve was Baldev Chager, the current Kenyan champion and in sixth position was David Horsey, the 1984 African Rally champion, such was the calibre of drivers on this year’s event.
With the demise of Kick Energy Amigos team-mates Geoff Bell/Tim Challen in the BTR (Ben Ashton) prepared Datsun 260Z yesterday, the Dansport (Dan Sutherland) prepared car of Andrew Siddall/Carl Williamson shot up the leaderboard with a string of good times to occupy 11th provisionally, subject to clarification, to end up runners-up to Perez and Millington in their self-proclaimed Gentlemens World Rally Class (G-WRC)..
1 Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch – Ford Capri – 16:54.46
2 Stig Blomqvist/Staffan Parmander – Porsche 911 – 16:58.00
3 Gerard Marcy/Stephan Prevot – Porsche 911 – 17:39.45
4 Steve Perez/John Millington – Datsun 260Z – 17:50.49
5 Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager – Porsche 911 – 17:54.16
6 David Horsey/Alex Horsey – Porsche 911 – 18:04.16
7 John Lloyd/Gavin Laurence – Ford Escort – 18:16.18
8 Gregoire De Mevius/Alain Guehennec – Porsche 911 – 18:32.54
9 Manvir Baryan/Jaswinder Chana – Porsche 911 – 18:51.44
10 Patrick van Heurck/Alain Lopez – Porsche 911 – 18:51.52
11 Andrew Siddall/ Carl Williamson – Datsun 260Z – 19:26.27
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 were 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
Competitive Day 8
Event Total Stage Kilometres 1621.31
Event Total Road Kilometres 2124.19
Completed Stage Kilometres 1621.31
Completed Road Kilometres 2124.19
Total Stage Time 17 hrs, 50 mins, 49 secs
Pictures attached (courtesy Mayes Media): Steve Perez in action on Competitive Day 8 of the 2013 Kenya Airways East African Safari Rally in the Amigos Datsun 260Z