Only four weeks left to the 2017 Safari Classic Rally

The East African Safari Classic Rally News Updates

Tension rising ahead of world’s toughest historic rally

Welcome to the latest Safari Classic Rally newsletter. Super excited that there are just four weeks left to the start of the rally!
Four weeks to go until Safari Classic Rally 2017
With just four weeks left to the start of the 2017 Safari Classic Rally, local entrants are working away on final updates to their cars, while international clients await confirmation of container unloading. The tension is certainly rising as we wait to see how the crews will address this year’s challenges. Well done to all the teams on their great work so far and keep working hard in the time remaining: we look forward to seeing you all in Mombasa!

Rally cars are available in Kenya. Contact us for more details.

Flash Back: Carl Tundo returns to the Safari Classic Rally
Four-time ARC Safari Rally winner, Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, is the latest entrant on the eighth edition of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally, which starts at Whitesands, Mombasa on November 23rd.

Tundo and long-time co-driver, Tim Jessop, join an impressive list of rally drivers including 1984 World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist, WRC 1994 Safari Rally winner Ian Duncan, multiple former Kenyan champion Baldev Singh Chager, South Africa’s Geoff Bell and the highly competitive Group B Mazda RX -7 of French historic veteran, Philippe Gache.

Born in Nairobi, Carl Tundo is a four-time winner of the Safari Rally and was the first-ever Kenyan winner of an IRC round. The son of Kenyan Safari veteran, Frank Tundo, father and son return to the world’s toughest historic rally in the same Triumph TR7s they drove on the previous Safari Classic Rally in 2015.

Carl is no stranger to the Safari Classic Rally. He navigated his best friend and former Kenya Champion, Alastair Cavenagh, in a Ford Escort on the inaugural Safari Classic in 2003, repeating the partnership in 2011 and 2013.

Having won the ARC Safari Rally for the first time in 2004, Carl made his Safari Classic driving debut in a Triumph TR7 in 2015. Despite setting several very fast stage times on its last Safari Classic outing, mechanical problems restricted the TR to fifteenth overall, but the bugs have since been ironed out and the Triumph is an historic rally regular.

Tundo arrives at Safari as one of the favourites, just a few short weeks after claiming a fourth career Guru Nanak Rally win during the latest event of the Kenya National Rally Championship in Naivasha. Safari Classic rally manager, Pipi Renu, expressed his excitement at the latest additions to the entry list.

"Carl is a seasoned competitor and always on the attack. Adding his name to our line-up of famous drivers from Africa and beyond is a sizzling prospect. Safari Classic is one of the few crowns not yet added to the Tundo collection, so watching him take on some of Safari’s most famous names will be a joy to behold. Carl is a driver one should not underestimate: thrills and spills are guaranteed! We are all very excited to welcome both Frank and Carl to the entry list and can’t wait to see how things pan out."

This year’s Safari Classic Rally is co-sponsored by Safaricom, Dodhia Packaging Ltd, Copy Cat Group, Vipingo Ridge, Internet Solutions and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Learn more about Carl Tundo
  • Team: Menengai Oil Racing
  • Current rally car: Triumph TR7
  • Previous rally cars: Proton Neo Satria S2000, Evolution 10, Subaru Impreza
  • Family: Married
  • Resides: Menengai
Favourite TV show: Vikings or Walking Dead
  • Favourite Movie: Django Unchained
Occupation: Agribusiness
First road car: Suzuki jeep
  • First rally car: Subaru Leone
  • First Event: Nakuru ’95
  • Who would you most like to have dinner with? Barrack Obama
  • Favourite Rally Driver: Sebastian Loeb
  • Most admired sports person: Dan Carter
  • 2017 goal: To win the 8th EA Safari Classic and recapture the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC)


  • Four-time ARC Safari Rally winner (in 2004 in a Subaru Impreza and in 2009, 2011 and 2012 in a Mitsubishi Evolution 9)
Three-time Kenya National Rally Champion in 2007, 2009 and 2012
  • Kenya Motor Sports Personality of the Year 2005
  • First driver to win a KNRC round in an S2000 (Proton)
  • Won the 2012 Guru Nanak Rally navigated by sister Natasha
Samani Rally Team aims for Top 15 Finish
Samani Rally Team veteran, Dinesh Sachania, is among the 2017 Classic Rally 2017 entrants who have taken full advantage of our new power steering rule. Sachania believes the addition of power steering to his Datsun 180B will help the team to reach greater heights on the gruelling nine-day marathon.

"Since our debut outing on the 2015 Safari Classic, the spotless Datsun 180B has undergone a full rebuild and it now looks like a new car. We have installed new and more durable fuel pumps. We are also installing a new power steering to make our driving easier and more enjoyable. We are planning to finish at least in the top fifteen, but whatever happens, we will savour the gruelling drive on historic terrain.

"There is nothing like the Safari Classic. It is fantastic to meet and race against new people from around the world who share the same passion of rallying. Our debut Safari gave us many memorable moments. The rain during the event and driving through muddy sections of the course was immense fun. We got bogged down a few times, but that’s part of the adventure of this game.

"My team mate, Feisal Khan, was with us back then and is an experienced navigator. As nephew of the famous Tinu Khan, I have full confidence in Faiyo’s rallying pedigree: he is always level-headed and takes his rallying seriously. Tinu is also on board as team manager: he is a key player in our team. He knows the ins and outs of the car, being the guy who maintains the vehicle. What’s more, he has participated in several classic events as a navigator and a team organiser so he has a vast knowledge of what to expect.

"Overall we are really looking forward to this year’s Safari Classic. It is a real pleasure to drive against Blomqvist and always great to compete with Ian Duncan. We have enjoyed great battles over several Kenya National Rallies in the past, so meeting two Safari Classic Rally greats in a competitive atmosphere will be special."

Rajesh Maini tackles debut Safari
Rajay Sehmi and Raaji Bharij
First run in 2003 as the torch bearer for what was the world’s toughest rally, the Safari Classic Rally has now become an institution amongst those rally fans looking for the ultimate challenge in historic rallying. One such thrillseeker is Rajesh Maini, who makes his Safari Classic Rally debut in 2017.

"It was always my dream to do the Safari Rally," says Rajesh. "I vividly remember being four years old and my dad taking us around the Safari Rally route to catch a glimpse of the classic machines zoom past remote Kenyan villages. We were deeply ingrained with a love for the sport and the world-beaters who visited our country to take on this ultimate rally adventure. The idea that now, as a participant, I can brush competitive shoulders with Safari heroes like Stig Blomqvist who we adored back in the day, and modern day heroes like Ian Duncan, is a dream come true."

While he has been inspired by the rally frontrunners, Rajesh notes that his primary aim will be to drive sensibly and bring his homebuilt Ford Escort Mark 1 home in one piece, and drive it across the Mombasa finish ramp on December 1.

"The aim for our team will be to finish the Safari Classic, so our team will be driving within conservative limits. As Safari Classic debutantes driving without power steering, a realistic target is to aim at a top twenty finish after nine days of driving. We have even been working out to enhance our upper body strength."

Rajesh’s dream to take part in the world’s toughest marathon historic rally was conceived many years ago, but the project really began to take shape while supporting Nish Lakhani on the 2013 Safari Classic. The machine chosen to realise Maini’s Safari ambitions is a Ford Escort Mk 1. The car is currently being prepared in the surveyor’s Nairobi workshop.

"I built the Mark 1 at home with the help of Iain Freestone, as the Mark 1s are cheaper with more available parts, which makes them more affordable to run. My Mk 1 is a 1975 example. Built by myself and my home-trained mechanic, Felix Ochieng Dege, I have completed two rallies so far with the Escort (2015 Guru Nanak and 2016 Top Fry 1000).

"It runs on a 2-litre Pinto engine: the basic engine available for this car. With the help of Jim Heather-Hayes, we have managed to fit in MCA suspension. We should be ready to undergo a short performance test program once our preparation is complete, but we will not risk bashing the car during any of the local events, because the classic is now just a few weeks away. We need to be ready!

"We did our last two off-road rallies on tulips to familiarise ourselves with the road book format used by the Classic. Now that we have good knowledge of the navigation process and we are happy with the local roads, our biggest fear is that, should the heavens open, we will be left with no option but to struggle through the course."

Rajesh’s Mark 1 will run in his traditional orange livery, with sponsorship from USN. "We’re grateful to USN for coming on board as our official partners for the Safari Classic Rally. During the event, we will savour a wide range of USN products, which will be key to our rehydration during this nine-day adventure.

"Key to a good partnership is to remain friends during tense moments. I’m a rally driver who sits and listens to my navigator and team. So we are good friends in and out of the car, which helps in building a cohesive force when it really matters. Taking part in the Safari Classic is an absolute dream come true. I’m just so grateful and appreciative that the opportunity has presented itself."

More about Rajesh Maini

Kenyan-born Rajesh was schooled in Durham, Great Britain. After full-time education finished, he eventually moved back to Kenya. He started his racing career with a 4-door Range Rover on the 2010 Rhino Charge in 2010. The following year brought a Kenya National Rally Raid series campaign using a two-door Range Rover: "The Flying Jalebi". Rajesh made his local Autocross Championship debut in a Rage buggy during 2011 before graduating to the Kenya National Rally Championship several years later. Rajesh is a true all-round motorsports personality!

Official Rally Tour and Safari
The official East African Safari Classic Rally tour is an amazing opportunity to experience the awesome splendour of African landscapes and wildlife. It also affords plenty of time to watch the rally action unfolding on the world’s toughest historic motorsport event.

Few experiences compare to exploring the wilds of Kenya and Tanzania by following the legendary Safari Classic Rally through some of our planet’s most famous wildlife reserves and ecological wonders. Our official tour is a truly memorable East African experience.

Download details of the official Rally Tour and Safari here. Contact us for more information.

Download the latest rally bulletins
For those interested in attending the 2017 Safari Classic Rally or taking part in the event, there is plenty of information available to download on our website.

The full Rally Regulations and the Official Entry Form for the 2017 East African Safari Classic Rally are both available for download here.

The latest Rally Bulletins are:

The latest Competitor Information Updates include:

Email us with any questions regarding our rally or to discuss the 2017 event.

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