East African Safari Classic Rally 2015: Day 6 roundup

Stig Blomqvist in East African Safari Classic 2015
Stig Blomqvist in in action of Day 6 of the East African Safari Classic 2015. Photo via Twitter: Sweeper 1 EASC @KifagioMoja

Following the previous rest day, which gave teams a chance to overhaul their cars, the drivers set off from Mto wa Mbu.

Stig Blomqvist’s Porsche 911 (Car 3) maintained his road and points lead over the rest of the cars, completing the 232kms with no issues, apart from hitting a rock which required some work.

He was followed by his Team Tido stable mate and fellow Swede Richard Goransson in car no 6, just in front of another Porsche driven by Gregoire de Mevius.

“It was a good day for us. We did the best time in CS13 at 19:28. In the longest section CS14, we caught Alistair Cavanagh and had to slow to activate the screamer (in car signal system to help overtaking) so we lost some time there. On the last stage we also caught Goransson who had stopped to repair a tyre, but it was just as he was taking off, so we had to stay in his dust.” – Gregoire de Mevius

Conditions on Sections CS13 to 15 were dry, offering drivers a combination of technical driving, twists and turns, rocky rough sections and long speedy dusty moments.

Kenyan fans hoping to cheer on Alistair Cavanagh were disappointed as he broke his suspension in the second section of the day, pushing his to 8th position overall.

“We had a bit of a disaster when the torsion bar broke, so we had to drive 50kms with it broken and the whole second section with no suspension at all, which was tough as it was a rough stage. At least we completed, and didn’t get any time penalties.” – Alistair Cavanagh

Carl Tundo’s Triumph TR7 also had an unsuccessful day when his half shaft broke in the section second.

However, Kenyan rally fans did have something to cheer as car 41 driven by Tejveer Rai, ended up in fifth place after a clean run, with Raaji Bharij in car number 21 recovering from a damaged wrist to start the day behind the wheel.

The rough sections of CS14 and CS15 proved challenging for a number of drivers. Richard Jackson’s Porsche 911 (car 25) dropped from fourth to seventeenth, taking a penalty for not completing the final section.

British driver Andrew Sidall had three punctures in CS14 and ran out of tyres before being forced to retire for the day, taking penalties for not completing the third section.

“We tried to get to the end by swapping the wheels to use what bit of tyre we had, and had to stop when bits of the car started flailing off. So we have dropped down horribly. We are gutted about it as we wanted to finish in the Top 10, but that’s looking less and less likely.” – Andrew Siddall

Fellow Brit, Nick Mason’s Datsun lost its clutch in the first section and ran the entire 117kms of the second section on gears. Then in the 3rd section he lost the brakes, limping out slowly to finish the day safely.

Tim Chesser was another British driver to have tyre problems, finishing on shredded wheels after the rougher sections. French driver Francois Lethier’s Peugeot 504’s wheels buckled following a broken rotor.

Tim Chesser, Car 44, a Ford Escort shows us his tyres after CS15 #easc2015

Posted by East African Safari Classic Rally on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Also unlucky was Marzio Kravos’ Ferrari, which had terminal gearbox failure, ruling him out of the rally.

Polish driver Pawel Mongo’s Mercedes 450 SLC (car 35) was also left frustrated after being unable to start the first competitive section due engine problems.