Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen is among the top drivers who will compete at next month’s East African Safari Classic Rally. The competition will run from December 9 to 11.
Laukkanen, a former Kenya National Rally Championships series winner and champion of the Finish and British rallies, will drive a Porsche 911 entered by the Kabras Team of Nakuru. The organizers have received 24 entries so far.
The East African Classic Rally will, for the first time, be run over three days unlike the traditional 10-day marathon.
However, the longer version will still take place in 2020.
Next month’s rally will start on December 9 at 8am from the Waterfront Karen in Nairobi in the memory of J.S. Vohra, who died in a car accident while out watching the classic rally last year.
Vohra was one of the directors of the classic rally at the time of his death.
Day Two action will start from the Waterfront Karen and finish at Sarova Woodlands Hotel in Nakuru while the final day will start and finish at the Sarova Woodlands Hotel in Nakuru.
Pipe Renu, the general manager of the rally, has already spent time on the anticipated stages with Raju Chagger, who will be the clerk of the course.
The total distance will be 920 kilometres, out of which the competitive section will cover 560 kilometres while the transport section will be 360 kilometres.
Unlike in the Kenya National Rally Championship series, where missing a stage or a time control would mean straight disqualification, the rules of the classic rally are flexible.
Drivers can miss any competitive section but will be penalized on time.
Drivers can also miss a full day of competition, cumulatively or singularly, and still re-join the rally but with penalties.
The penalty for missing a full day is 300 minutes per day, plus the time allowed on the competitive sections (estimated from time Itinerary).
Crews cover a maximum of three stages a day.
Service points are by the roadside, and competitors are allowed to get assistance from anyone outside the service points.