Eighty-four of the world's top rally drivers have been taking their cars through final practice runs of the gruelling 5,000 kilometre (1,106 mile) route for this year's Safari rally in Kenya.
1. GV people milling round cars before practice run begins. 0.04
2. SV Car 12, driven by Jayant Shah and car 8, driven by Yoshio Iwashita. (2 SHOTS) 0.08
3. SV Car 6 Hannu Mikkola. 0.11
4. GV Car 10 Vic Preston Jnr, then car 6. (2 SHOTS) 0.20
5. GV Car 24 Abdullah Omar negotiating bend on rough track followed by car 6, then car 4 - Mehta. (5 SHOTS) 0.51
6. SCU Shekhar Mehta speaking. (SOT) 1.04
TRANSCRIPT: MEHTA: (SEQ 6) "It has been very rough in practice but it's turning our to be a lot smoother now and the problem is that we want it to remain rough because I think that will suit our cars better."
SPORT: CAR RALLY
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Background: NAIROBI, KENYA
Eighty-four of the world's top rally drivers have been taking their cars through final practice runs of the gruelling 5,000 kilometre (1,106 mile) route for this year's Safari rally in Kenya. The rally,probably the most demanding in the world, starts on March 31 and continues over five days to end on April 4. Seasoned drivers to look out for will be Jayant Shah, of Kenya, (Car 12) who came overall fifth in last year's event. This is his ninth Safari. Yoshio Iwashita, of Japan in car No. 8 is also making ninth attempt. He has several victories to hs credit in his own country. Car No.6 is driven by Hannu Mikkola, of Finland. he first took part in 1963, in a Volvo, and won in 1972. In the past three years, he has driven and Audi. kenya's Vic Preston Jnr, in Car 10, is a former Kenya Rally Champion and three-times Motor Sportsman of the Year. Car 24 is driven by Abdullah Omar, who will endure the Safari without a navigator. Unlike most other racing drivers, rally competitors relish a rough track. According to tour-times Safari champion, Shekhar Mehta, the course, difficult during practice runs, could be smooth by March 31. ugandan-born Mehta, now resident in Kenya, will be driving a Datsun 240RS for the first time this year. This year too, he has a new navigator, Mike Doughty, who helped him win the past four Safaris, has now stepped out of the passenger seat, to become general manager and course designer of the rally.
Source: REUTERS - MOHAMMED AMIN