The East African Safari Classic Rally announces new route for 2017
The first newsletter for the 2017 East African Safari Classic Rally shares photos from our latest route survey and details of two exciting new entries. Share your rally stories with us by email!
Welcome to the first newsletter for the 2017 East African Safari Classic Rally. We hope you will enjoy reading our latest news: feel free to email pictures of your preparations for the 2017 Safari Classic Rally through to media for inclusion in the next edition. Please contact us with any questions: we look forward to hearing from you!
New Route for Safari Classic Rally
With fewer than twelve months to go until the 2017 East African Safari Classic Rally, we’ve been working hard on our preparations for the eighth running of our spectacular event. Top of the list is always the route survey, which this year is even more complex as we’ve opted to explore some previously unrallied parts of East Africa.
Old hands and rookies alike will enjoy the new Safari Classic routes over a wide variety of terrain. Here are some pics from our most recent route survey to whet your appetite. From fast open roads to more technical sections, this is classic Safari, with plenty of twists to keep things interesting! We will share outline route details in a future newsletter.
Route Photos by Ishy Renu Photography – Enjoy more of Ishy’s work on her Facebook page
Blomqvist returns to defend Safari Classic Rally crown
Reigning East African Safari Classic Rally champion, Stig Blomqvist, is returning to Kenya later this year to defend his Safari crown. The 1984 world rally champion will tackle the new route for the nine-day historic rally through Kenya and Tanzania in a Porsche 911 built by two-time Safari Classic winners, Tuthill Porsche.
“It is an honour to announce the return of our reigning champion, Stig Blomqvist, to this year’s Safari Classic Rally,” declared rally CEO, Raju Kishinani. “Stig has always carried his natural talent with great grace and sportsmanship and is a champion of impeccable calibre. His amazing speed, love for the sport and passion for Africa is exactly what Safari is all about.”
“We are delighted to return to Kenya with our great friend and champion,” said Tuthill team principal, Richard Tuthill. “East Africa remains an amazing place to compete and Safari still delivers the most challenging historic motorsport on offer. Nothing tests man or machine like Safari and another hugely important factor is the enormously sociable atmosphere across the event. We adore this place and the people, and always want to do well in what has become our home away from home.”
Starting in Mombasa on November 23rd, the Safari Classic Rally is regarded as the world’s toughest historic motorsport event. Running over nine days and covering thousands of kilometres of African wilderness, Safari Classic honours the original spirit of African rallying as the ultimate test of man and machine!
About our Safari Classic Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist
Born in Karlstad, Sweden in 1946, Stig Blomqvist is a cornerstone of modern rallying history. Claiming a first podium finish shortly after passing his driving test, Stig’s first international rally wins came in 1971. Driving for the famous Saab works rally team, three victories for Blomqvist in Sweden, Finland and Great Britain helped the Swedish carmaker to secure runner-up spot in the manufacturers’ championship.
After a decade of driving with Saab, the Swede moved to Audi in 1982 as teammate to Hannu Mikkola and Michèle Mouton. Stig more than held his own in such exalted company and won both the Swedish and San Remo rallies. In 1983, Blomqvist scored seven podiums, including winning the RAC Rally and securing the British Rally Championship.
The following year was all about Blomqvist. During what many rally fans still regard as a golden age of rallying, Blomqvist took the legendary Audi Quattro to five overall victories, claiming the manufacturers’ title for Audi and beating team mates Mikkola, Mouton and new arrival, Walter Röhrl to become the 1984 world rally champion. Stig remains a fierce competitor and has scored memorable wins in the sport’s greatest cars all over the world.
Geoff Bell: South Africa’s finest is back to do battle
We’re delighted to confirm South African rally driver, Geoff Bell, on the entry list for the 2017 East African Safari Classic Rally. Partnered by regular co-driver, Tim Challen, the duo will again do battle in a Datsun 260Z, Bell’s weapon of choice for three of his five previous Safari Classic rallies.
"It’s fantastic to have Geoff and Tim on the Safari Classic entry list for a sixth consecutive event," smiled Safari Classic Rally CEO, Raju Kishinani. "With several previous top ten finishers already confirmed for this year’s rally, the competition is really hotting up. Our new route will test all of our competitors and their machines to the maximum, reinforcing our rally’s reputation as the world’s toughest and most exciting historic motorsport event."
Geoff Bell’s entry lays down the gauntlet for a potential rally win. The South African narrowly missed overall victory in 2011, eventually finishing second behind the late, great Björn Waldegård in a Porsche 911. Having rallied their 260Z on several continents, Bell and Challen are a formidable force and real spectator favourites. News of their entry will certainly excite the many fans planning to follow the rally in Kenya and Tanzania through November and December.
The atmosphere at the rally start on November 23rd will crackle with excitement as this competitive duo lines up alongside the historic rallying world’s most committed competitors. The entry list also includes Safari Classic legends, Aslam Khan and Marzio Kravos, each of whom will be starting their eighth Safari Classic Rally. More exciting entry news coming!
Download the latest rally bulletins
For those interested in attending the 2017 Safari Classic Rally or taking part in the event, there is plenty of information available to download on our website.
Bulletin 1 is available to download in the 2017 downloads section. This covers amendments to the previously published regulations for the 2017 Safari Classic Rally.
Competitors Information Number 1 is available in the 2017 downloads section of our website. This covers hotel room upgrade and supplement rates in addition to the standard rally entry fees. Follow our social media feeds for all rally bulletins as they are released.
Email us with any questions regarding our rally or to discuss the 2017 event.