Rosenberger takes overnight advantage of E. Africa Rally

Monday, December 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
American Joe Hayes during day four of the East Africa Classic Rally yesterday. Photo/SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Special Correspondent

Austrian Kris Rosenberger had a superb drive yesterday that saw him take back the overnight lead on the fourth day of the East Africa Safari Classic Rally.

Navigated by Nicole Bleicher in a Tuthill Porsche 911, Kris opened a 36.0 seconds gap after posting the cumulative time after the four days of 06.53.57 to take the leader board position in a day that saw the competitors tackle dynamic stages from Arusha to Tanga.

Veteran Stig Blomqvist who earlier in the day won the 40km Kifaru/Mwanga first stage of the day settled for the second overall on the leader board with a time of 06:54:27 followed by Kabras Racing Teams Tejveer Rai navigated by Gavin Laurence in third who clocked 07:09:05.

The former WRC champion posted the best time of all the day’s stages in 01:44:54.

This was Blomqvist’s first stage win of the classic rally this year. Earlier, Onkar Rai won the 92km Same/Mkomazi second stage of the day but drive shaft problems dampened his run as he finished the fourth day eighth in 07:18:03.

Former classic rally champion Ian Duncan, who is sitting with Anthony Nielsen in their River Vitesse, finished the day at position 15th with 07:15:44.2.

“Good day today, the car works better in this altitude when we were coming down hill so it wasn’t so bad. Very nice stages, the last one was bit mickey mouse for a few kilometers but otherwise it was fun. We just need some more power. What we have is a very standard engine,” said Duncan.

Earlier in the day, the proverbial rally gremlins continued to dog Kabras Racing Team’s Baldev Chager who missed two stages.

During the first stage, Chager’s Porsche 911 encountered torsion bar problems which part of the main suspension system.

Sort out problem

This forced him to miss the last two last stages and opted to head to Tanga to sort out the problem.

Speaking at the start of the second stage at Old Korogwe/Magazoni, first time entrant Joe Hayes from USA could not hide his joy as he ticked the East African Safari Classic Rally on the bucket list.

“Never been to Africa before. We prepared by watching the video summaries of the 2015 and 2017 classic rallies on YouTube.

Our goal is to finish and keep the car out of the ditch. We are on top 15 andthat’s good enough. The whole trip has been fantastic and Tuthill have been really great,” said Hayes.

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