Whitesands Resort to be launch point for upcoming East African Safari Classic Rally


(Posted 11th November 2017)

All systems are go now for the upcoming East African Safari Classic Rally which will launch from the Whitesands Resort & Spa in Mombasa on the 23rd of November before returning on December 01st.
Kenya Airways is once again key sponsor of the event, something Kenya’s national airline has been doing over the years through thick and thin.
On a special note will the first and only ever Audi Quattro winning the former Safari Rally return to the location of its greatest triumph.
The first Audi to win the original WRC Safari Rally and Audi’s final world championship rally car is returning to Kenya with winning driver, Hannu Mikkola, for the eighth edition of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally.

A special guest of Safari this year is the works Audi 200 Quattro that claimed the top two steps of the podium in 1987, when Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer took second place behind team mates Mikkola and co-driver, Arne Hertz.

We are delighted to welcome the Audi Motorsport team back to Kenya, to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of a memorable Safari victory‘ said Safari Classic Rally director, Raju Kishinani. ‘It is also an honour to celebrate the return of Hannu Mikkola. As the first international driver to win a Safari Rally (in 1972), Hannu paved the way for so many unforgettable Safari battles, where a plethora of great manufacturers and budding world champions pushed glorious machines to the limit against experienced local heroes in the garden of Africa. A Safari win became the most coveted title in rallying and built an incredible legacy. The Safari Classic Rally rekindles that unique spirit every two years‘.

Rally manager, Pipi Renu, extended the warm hand of welcome when he added ‘Karibu to Audi on its return to Kenya for the thirtieth anniversary of the legendary Quattro’s only win through the African bush. Karibu also to Hannu: Safari champion from 1972, world champion from 1983 and a pivotal figure in rallying history. Every Safari Rally was a fierce test of man and machine against nature and world-class competition, in some of the most incredible rally cars ever constructed. 1987 was no exception. Battling Blomqvist in a works Ford Sierra Cosworth, Waldegård in a works Toyota Supra, a four-car works Subaru team and countless local experts in rally cars specifically built for Safari, Mikkola and Hertz needed all their talent to emerge victorious. As ever with the Safari, the cream rose to the top. The 200 Quattro took first and second positions and Audi finally had a Safari win to its credit. The story is well worth remembering, so we are delighted to help Audi to commemorate this golden moment in its motorsport history‘.

The Audi 200 Quattro will take part in the official pre-rally event programme, on static display in Sarova Whitesands and also running on the shakedown event at Vipingo Ridge. Following the rally start on November 23, the Quattro will accompany the event to its first overnight stop: Amboseli National Park, in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro.

For those interested in attending the 2017 Safari Classic Rally or taking part in future events, there is plenty of information available to download on the website.

The full Rally Regulations for the Safari Classic Rally are available for download here.

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The latest Competitor Information Updates include:

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