Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally

Updated: November 21, 2013

Three Amigos Ready For A ‘Rally’ Good Time…

The three Amigos, Steve Perez, Geoff Bell and Andrew Siddall, are all set and ready for what promises to be one of the closest fought and toughest ever tests of man and machine when the 2013 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally kicks off in Mombasa on the Coast of Kenya.


Following his podium placing in 2009 and fifth place in 2011, triple British Rally champion Steve Perez, returns for the fourth time at the wheel of his BTR-prepared historic specification Amigos Tequila-flavoured beer branded Datsun 260Z.

For 2013, Chesterfield-based Steve has a Safari Rally newcomer alongside him in the form of John Millington but don’t be deceived into thinking that Millington is a novice co-driver, in fact to the contrary for John brings with him a wealth of experience. This personable Welshman is the logistics manager for the M-Sport World Rally Team and has a huge amount of co-driving experience in the British Isles.

For this year’s event, which traverses large portions of Kenya and Tanzania, and sees competitors face hazards such as flooded rivers and wildlife in the middle of the road, the crews will tackle a total of 3,824 kilometres of rallying action over nine days with only one rest day included.

Steve, however, is quietly confident that he and John are up to the challenge: “Although I have only done limited testing the car feels fantastic. My friend and rival Geoff Bell has been testing his similar car in Kenya all year and so we have used his feedback to turn our Datsun into a truly competitive car. But we face stiff competition as both Bjorn Waldegaard and Stig Blomqvist are back and both of these guys are ex World Rally Champions, but we are ready for the challenge.”

The 2013 Kenya Airways East African Safari Rally begins from the Sarova Whitesands Hotel along the Mombasa north coast and will include 26 timed competitive sections, some of which will be over 150 kilometres in length, more than the total length of most rallies in the mainland UK. In total there are over 60 entries from 16 countries, all competing in a variety of rally cars built prior to 1979 and all ready to tackle the toughest rally in the world.

Perez and Millington are joined in the Kick Energy Amigos Rally Team by South African Geoff Bell and his Kenyan co driver Tim Challen as well as Brits Andrew Siddall and co driver Carl Williamson in their respective Datsun 260Zs. Otherwise known as the Gentleman’s World Rally Club (G-WRC) these three drivers have their own championship at historic events throughout the season.

The route for day one tomorrow is not for the faint hearted. Three special stages amounting to 217 kilometres and road liaison totalling a further 157 kilometres will take the crews from the coastal resort of Mombasa via the Tsavo National Park to the foothills of the snow-capped Kilimanjaro, Africa’s largest mountain. Along the way the crews will face everything from wildlife (one note reads ‘caution, lions seen here recently’) to thick black cotton mud and breathtaking scenery taken straight out of an Ernest Hemingway novel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>