The East African Safari Rally is back in 2005
Stig Blomqvist commits to Safari classic
Following the celebrated running of its 50th anniversary in 2003, the East African Safari Rally returns in 2005 and the event will run from 1-10 December. The world's greatest classic car rally will cover a marathon 4,200 kilometres over nine days and once again take the crews through the remote and beautiful landscapes of East Africa.
1984 World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist currently tops the early list of entries and the Swede, who finished third on the Safari Rally in 1989 in a VW Golf, will be co-driven by Venezuelan Ana Goni. Rob Collinge, victor of the 50th anniversary East African Safari Rally, will be back to defend his title, this time trading his winning Datsun 240Z for 260Z machinery, while French businessman Frederic Dor, who finished second in 2003, will also return in his Porsche 911 competing against what is hoped to be another impressive field of international entries.
"The event was an enormous success in 2003 and warmly received by everyone as it truly embraced the essence of early competition," commented Event Director, Mike Kirkland. "The pressure to organise a second event was huge! Judging by all the comments we received though, there is no question we are set for another fantastic rally that provided good competition, exceptional camaraderie and great fun."
The East African Safari Rally will once again start from beneath the famous elephant tusks on Moi Avenue, Mombasa, Kenya, on 1 December, but in 2005 the event is scheduled to cover more competitive kilometres in Tanzania, before returning to Kenya and the finish on the picturesque Diani Beach on 10 December.
The East African Safari Rally commemorates the original Coronation Safari, a unique event run by enthusiasts to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. In 1960 the event was renamed the East African Safari Rally, running annually until 1972, and, in keeping with the sense of history, only cars produced before 31 December 1974 (or the exact same car if built before 1978) are eligible to compete.
The 2005 East African Safari Rally, which has been scheduled outside the international rally calendar and during one of the most beautiful months in East Africa, promises to deliver yet more stunning and memorable action, underlining its status as one of the greatest classic car rallies of the modern era.