WRC

Safari Rally: End of Leg 1

1999 Safari Rally Kenya Official Site: http://www.safarirally.co.ke Unofficial Site: http://www.thesafarirally.com/ Round 3 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 25-28 February 1999 Results at the end of Leg 1 Richard Burns leads the...

1999 Safari Rally Kenya Official Site: http://www.safarirally.co.ke Unofficial Site: http://www.thesafarirally.com/ Round 3 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 25-28 February 1999

Results at the end of Leg 1

Richard Burns leads the Safari Rally Kenya in a Subaru Impreza, but his team mates both retire. Burns only major problem was being caught in Makinen's dust on CS 2 and he was completely blinded five or six times. Burns couldn't get through to the helicopter to relay an overtaking message to Makinen. Kankkunen and Thiry both retired because of a Electronic Control Unit failure - an item which Burns is now carrying several spares!

Carlos Sainz was leading the rally during the day, but lost almost a minute on the final section because he had to slow down for some donkeys. "The car has run perfectly today and we have had no real problems, not even a puncture," said Carlos. Auriol also had an excellent day with only a single puncture. Both Toyotas are running at a comfortable pace but are slowing down for the rough areas. Local Ian Duncan in another Corolla set some excellent times but was delayed by a smash wheel rim that left the tyre wrapped around the driveshaft.

Colin McRae sustained heavy front end damage after hitting a rock but was able to continue losing little time. He also experienced a misfire in the engine but finished in 3rd overall. Petter Solberg experienced mechanical problems but finished in 7th.

Freddy Loix & Sven Smeets had a major accident on CS 3. Their Mitsubishi hit a deep 'wash away' at approx 160kph and rolled heavily, landing upside down in the middle of the road. Loix was flown immediately by helicopter to Nairobi Hospital with suspected neck injuries but is reported to be ok. Smeets was unhurt.

"Winning never gets boring" said Tommi Makinen who currently lies in 5th place. On the first stage of the day he had two punctures almost simultaneously and had to remove rubber wrapped around the suspension. The results was a loss of 10 minutes. During CS 4 a broken fan blade damaged the radiator which is a time consuming item to change in service and he received a 20 second penalty for being late out of the time control.

The Seats of Liatti and Rovanpera had a tough day and both are now experts at changing tyres. "I'm fed up with punctures and breaking wheel rims" said Rovanpera! The Seats sustained numerous smashed rims resulting in punctures. Rovanpera also lost time as he got caught in Solberg's dust after changing a tyre and Liatti lost time with the wrong suspension settings.

And there are another 2 days to go! :)

General conditions: very rough & hot!

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Unofficial results at end of Leg 1:

1 Burns                        Subaru Imprza                2:50:06 
2 Sainz                        Toyota Corolla                2:50:32
3 McRae                        Ford Focus                2:52:02
4 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                2:56:24
5 Makinen                Mit. Lancer VI                3:02:57
6 Liatti                Seat WRC                3:05:34
7 Solberg                Ford Focus                3:09:54
8 Duncan                Toyota Corolla                3:11:49
9 Rovanpera                Seat WRC                3:16:42
10 Al-Wahaibi                Mit. Carisma GT                3:17:26

Group N:

1 Al-Wahaibi                Mit. Carisma GT                3:17:26
2 Climent                Mit. Lancer                3:34:59
3 Miyoshi                Subaru Impreza                3:35:57                

Formula 2:

1 Anwar                        Hyundai Coupe        -
2 Kibiti                Hyundai Coupe        -
3 Kimhati                Hyundai Coupe        -

-----------------------------------------------------------

Competitive Section Winners:

CS 2  Richard Burns, Subaru Impreza
CS 3  Carlos Sainz, Toyota Corolla
CS 4  Richard Burns, Subaru Impreza
CS 5  Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI

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CS 2, Isinya - Orien 116,83 km

Notes: A long section over the Kapiti Plains. The initial part of this section, over black cotton soil, is bumpy and rutty largely due to the lorries that ply this portion headed for a nearby quarry. It smoothens thereafter, narrowing in places but over open plains all the way to Mororo, the intersection of roads leading to Sultan Hamud and Kajiado. From Mororo to the Orien branch-off, its all very high speed stuff on a wide, smooth road. The road then gets narrower and twistier as one near Orien.

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Burns                        Subaru Impreza        48:25,7
2 Sainz                        Toyota Corolla        48:26,1
3 Auriol                Toyota Corolla        49:19,3
4 Kankkunen                Subaru Impreza        49:36,5
5 McRae                        Ford Focus        49:48,1

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CS 3, Olooloitikosh - Kajiado 49,06 km

Notes: The opening bits of this section are relatively straight and, consequently, fast too. However, there are rutty segments with very high centre ridges and some rocky washaways. The surface smoothens and road widens open past the junction that leads to the famous Corner Baridi. The landscape here is stark and windswept - and relatively very bare. The cars descend from around 5000 to 2000 ft once past the radio mast that sits half-way through.

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Sainz                        Toyota Corolla        22:38,7
2 Burns                        Subaru Impreza        23:22,6
3 McRae                        Ford Focus        23:23,5
4 Makinen                Mit. Lancer VI        23:26,7
5 Rovanpera                Seat WRC        24:56,8

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CS 4, Hunters Lookout - Timbuctoo 72,56 km

Notes: This is quite a notorious section. There are lots and lots of booby traps to catch out all but the most alert - and cautious. Washaways abound - and so do punctures, on average - over the first 44 kilometres. The last portion is a lot friendlier though.

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Burns                Subaru Impreza        36:11,0
2 Sainz                Toyota Corolla        36:27,7
3 McRae                Ford Focus        36:53,7
4 Duncan        Toyota Corolla        37:13,7
5 Makinen        Mit. Lancer VI        37:28,5

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CS 5, Lenkili - Il Bisel 113,41 km

Notes: Deviations, narrow tracks and plenty of washaways all the way to Selengei. Once past Selengei, it gets smoother, wider and faster before reverting to twisty and narrow road again.

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Makinen        Mit. Lancer VI          59:57,3
2 McRae                Ford Focus        1:00:01,9
3 Burns                Subaru Impreza        1:00:12,5
4 Auriol        Toyota Corolla        1:00:12,5
5 Sainz                Toyota Corolla        1:01:05,9

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"Cynan 'Dusty' Rhodes" <cynan@harvestroad.com.au>

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