Nairobi October 3, 2017… The 1984 Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist will be the first off the ramp on the 2017 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally.
Blomqvist who is also the defending champion of Safari Classic Rally was placed first on the seeded start order released by organisers yesterday.
He leads over 30 drivers out of Sarova Whitesands in this year’s edition of Safari Classic slated for November 23rd to December 1st in Kenya and Tanzania.
Carl “Flash” Tundo, the son of veteran Safari Rally driver Frank Tundo who is also taking part in the event, is seeded second in the star-studded list which also has Baldev Singh Chager taking off in third and two-times champion Ian Duncan being seeded fourth.
Geoff Bell, from South Africa, is seeded fifth navigated by Kenya’s Timothy Challen.
Challen is no stranger to the prestigious event having navigated Bell in previous editions.
Bell will followed by Jorge Perez Comparc, Richard Jackson and Pilippe Gache in a Mazda.
Raaji Singh Bharij will team up with Rajay Sehmi in ninth in a locally build Porsche 911.
Onkar Rai is seeded 10th. He will team up with Gareth Dawe who also navigates him in the Kenyan National Rally Championship.
During the event, organisers EASR Limited also confirmed the final list of cosponsors for the event.
Event General Manager Pipi Renu thanked all the co-sponsors for their unswerving support.
“We are glad to welcome all co-sponsors to the 2017 Classic. The co-sponsors have not only helped the organisers put up a world class event but injected lots of quality to ensure smooth running, “said Pipi.
Kenya Airways, the local carrier is back as the title sponsor for the umpteenth time. They are sponsoring the prestigious biennial event for the seventh time since inception in 2003.
Kenya Airways were the title sponsors of the inaugural event in 2003 which was held on December 10-19 that year, skipped the December 1st to 10th Edition in 2005, and came on board in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 , 2015 and now in 2017.
Leading communications firm Safaricom will be co-sponsors of the event for the first time this year.
The telecom giants who are the Official Communication Partners have set aside a whooping KSh15 Million in cash sponsorship for the world’s toughest historic event and an additional Sh 2 million worth of connectivity and airtime worth Sh2 Million for the officials and rally crews.
Internet Solutions has come back as the Official Internet and Data Transmission Partners.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) are also back for the umpteenth time and will assist in the Cooperation and planning of all logistics at the Amboseli Park, whilst Copy Cat Group will be providing identity badges as well as photocopying services.
Copy Cat has supported the Safari Classic from inception up till the 2017 edition.
Vipingo Ridge also joins the growing list of co-sponsors and will host the events shakedown in North Coast.
Kenya Motor Sports Federation and Automobile Association of Tanzania are also in the mix as respective ASNs of Kenya and Tanzania.
Dodhia Packaging Kenya Limited will be providing packaging equipment.
The event will be flagged off at Sarova Whitesands on November 23rd and finish at the same venue on December 1st
Jacquie Muhati, the Kenya Airways Head of Marketing said: “The Rally demonstrates the possibilities of trade, tourism and bringing people together within East Africa and beyond. We have supported this rally over the years as it markets the region as a sports tourism attraction. This event therefore holds great significance to the economic growth of our country as well as the East African region.” She said
Top Ten seeded start list
- Stig Blomqvist (Porsche 911)
- Carl Tundo (Triumph)
3.Baldev Singh Chager (Porsche 911)
- Ian Duncan (Ford Capri)
- Geoff Bell (Datsun)
- Jorge Perez Comparc ()
- Richard Jackson ()
- phillppe Gache (Mazda)
- Raaji Bharij(Porsche 911)
- Onkar Rai (Porsche 911)