Kenyan hotelier Edgar Herrmann on Monday (12th April) won the East African Safari for the second year in succession.
Kenyan hotelier Edgar Herrmann on Monday (12th April) won the East African Safari for the second year in succession. Herrmann and his German co-driver Hans Schuller drove their winning Datsun over nearly 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometres) of gruelling roads to a total of 217 points against.
The last stage of the rally, around Mount Kenya, provided the final test for the rally drivers. Mist and rain added to the hazards of this section - thought to be the trickiest of the entire route - and the drivers faced a nightmare stretch of twisting bends when they and their cars were on the point of exhaustion after four nights of hard driving.
Uganda's Shekhar Mehta and Mike Doughty were second, only three points behind the winners. They also drove a Datsun. A former winner, Bert Shankland, in a Peugeot 504, was third with a total of 348 points -- one point ahead of the Ford Escort driven by Britain's Robin Hillyar.
SYNOPSIS: Kenyan hotelier Edgar Herrmann won the East African Safari on Monday for the second successive year. Herrmann and his West German co-driver Hans Schuller, drove their winning Datsun over the four thousand mile route to win by a margin of three points over their nearest rivals.
Herrmann and Schuller received a rousing welcome from the crowd assembled at Nairobi to see the winning car enter the last check point. They took the lead in the rally after the dramatic retirement of Waldegaard's Porsche. The final stage of the rally, around Mount Kenya, is the testing point of the East African safari. Mist and rain made the twisting road extremely treacherous. Ugandan Shekhar Mehta was placed second in the overall result. Mehta and his co-driver, Mike Doughty, finished the Safari with two hundred and twenty points -- three points behind Herrmann and Schuller. Datsuns, taking the first two places, won the manufacturers' teams prize.
Herrmann and Schuller had held a fourteen point lead over the Ugandans as they reached Jinja, but their advantage had melted away as Mehta had staged a superb display of driving skill to narrow the final margin to three points.
The drivers celebrated their placing with the traditional champagne toast.
Onlookers crowded all available vantage points as the third car arrived at the final checkpoint. Bert Shankland, driving a Peugeot 504, finished with a total of three hundred and forty eight points.
From the one hundred and seven starters in the Safari, only thirty two finished. The East African Safari, claimed to be the toughest rally in the world, was raced through three countries this year -- Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania -- over nearly four thousand miles of road.