Race4Change in Front: Top Day for the Team

Björn and Mathias Waldegård starting day 8 of the 2011 Safari Classic Rally seven seconds down on P1 was always going to mean an exciting first stage of the day. That is what we got.

The former World Champion set off like an experienced greyhound out of a trap, setting the fastest time. On a 31-minute stage, he was 2 minutes faster than de Mévius and almost three minutes faster than third place Duncan. Steve Funk was a super impressive fourth, four minutes down on Waldegård: awesome driving.

Björn’s performance put him back in the lead. The top 9 after Stage 19 looked like this:

CS19 Fastest: Waldegard 31:46

1 Wald 16:12:2
2 Bel+4:46
3 Stig+76:27
4 Mrcy+82:59
5 Perz+115:46
6 deM+132:33
7 Fnk+140:53
8 Mndr+143:37
9 Llyd+153:26

Stage 20 started well, but Björn picked up a puncture mid stage which we think cost 4 minutes: all the lead he had. The Safari dice rolled our way soon after, when Geoff Bell also had a puncture, losing more time than our Swedes.

Consequently, the top 9 after Stage 20 looked like this:

CS20 Fastest: Marcy 57:30

1 Wald 17:18:11
2 Bel+8:26
3 Stig+74:2
4 Mrcy+77:22
5 Perz+124:28
6 deM+130:44
7 Fnk+140:54
8 Mndr+152:15
9 Dun+155:22

I’m told that we still have the entire rally distance of a British Championship to cover, so a long way to go. Bjorn has just cleared the last stage of the day so things are looking OK as long as you like duck tape on windscreens:

Elsewhere in the field, Patrick Njiru joined Tuthill driver Thomas Flohr in retirement (Thomas rolled at the end of the last stage before rest day), when his rear torsion bar torque tube was deemed damaged beyond repair. It’s a shame as Patrick had set the fifth fastest time on Stage 19 and was enjoying the car. Saying goodbye to a Kenyan favourite and the legend that is Fabrizia Pons is not easy for any of us.

In contrast, Funk has had a terrific day. I’ve just had a message saying “Drove hard. I challenged the car and it stayed with me.” Steve held the gap to Björn and added nine minutes to the gap between himself and P8: a really great result on an hour-long stage.

News from the crew is that no one has had more than 4.5 hours sleep a night since the rally started! Everyone is tired but delighted to be back in front. Travis Pastrana has gone down as a legend amongst the service crew, and they are looking forward to flying home on Wednesday: straight into a public sector strike expected to generate 12-hour queues at immigration control. Safari Rally: the gift that keeps on giving!

You should keep on giving too! Our rally is almost done and then the hard work really begins: helping those in need to escape the oppression of poverty, and empowering them to change their lives. It couldn’t be a more awesome challenge. Donate to our cause here: send $5 on your cellphone here. Don’t let us down when we have worked so hard to impress and entertain all of you Safari fans and lovers of real rallying!

Tomorrow is THE LAST DAY. There are three stages in the morning totalling 160kms of rallying, along with 140kms of road mileage on which anything can happen. The finish is at lunchtime, with end-of-rally podium at 1pm, back at the White Sands Hotel. Hopefully, there’ll be a fat lady singing alongside our Swedish farmer and rally driver, but it’s far from a done deal yet.

TRACK THE SAFARI RALLY LIVE ON GOOGLE EARTH

About John Glynn

John Glynn is the owner of Ferdinand Porsche Magazine and resident Race4Change media expert & blogger. John owns five classic Porsche cars and knows the Porsche scene inside out. Check out his articles on the Ferdinand Porsche Blog at www.ferdinandmagazine.com.
This entry was posted in Bjorn Waldegard, Celebrities, Fabrizia Pons, Microfinance, Out of Africa, Patrick Njiru, R4C Rally Cars, R4C Video, Race4Change Blog, Race4Change News!, Travis Pastrana, Where's the FUNK! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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