British driver Roger Clark dropped out of the East African Safari Motor rally on saturday (21 April) after holding a 30-minute lead throughout the first half of the gruelling 3,000 miles (5,000 kms) event.
TGV & SV PAN Car number 2 leading at Sultan Hamoud heading towards Nairobi (2 shots)
SCU Control point at Mua escarpment
SV Car number 16 leaving control point
SV Car number 9 arrives at control
CU Time keeper
SV PAN Car number 4 along dusty country road
SV PAN Car number 1 in pursuit
TV PAN Car 19 following
SV PAN Car 16 leading through the Rift Valley
STV PAN Car 9 following
SV PAN Car 8 passes
SV PAN Car 2 passes
SV PAN Car 38 passes
CU & SV Car number 2 broken down on roadside (3 shots)
SCU Control point at Mount Margaret
SV PAN Car 14 arrives at control point
CU & SV Spectators watch as car 14 leaves control point
CAR NUMBER 2 LEADING ON WAY TOWARDS NAIROBI; CONTROL POINT; CAR 16 LEAVING CONTROL; CAR 9 ARRIVING AT CONTROL; CAR 4 ALONG DUSTRY ROAD; CAR NUMBER 1 FOLLOWS; CAR 8 PASSING CAMERA; DITTO CAR 2; DITTO CAR 38; CAR 2 (CLARK) BROKEN DOWN; CONTROL POINT MOUNT MARGARET; CAR 14 ARRIVES CONTROL; SPECTATORS WATCH CAR 14 LEAVE.
Initials ESP/1705 ESP/1736
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Background: British driver Roger Clark dropped out of the East African Safari Motor rally on saturday (21 April) after holding a 30-minute lead throughout the first half of the gruelling 3,000 miles (5,000 kms) event.
Clark was forced to retire with steering trouble in his works-entered Ford Escort 1600 Rally special. He was on the road out of Nairobi through Kenya's Rift Valley when his shock retirement happened.
His pulling out of the rally was a shattering blow to the british Ford Works Team, who won the team prize in last year's Rally. Japanese Datsuns now appear poised for victory.
A total of 89 cars set off in the Rally on Thursday (19 April). but only about 50 of them survived the battering, spring-smashing test of driving skill and mechanical resilience to begin the second stage of the rally which opened on Saturday.
Japan's Datsuns took up the running following clark's retirement and hammered their way into a good lead within a few hours of leaving Nairobi following the half-way rest.
Five of the first 100 cars on provisional points placings through Narok - checkpoint number nine out from Nairobi - were Datsuns, three of them team entries and two privately entered.
At the previous checkpoint (number eight), the Datsuns had only 659 penalty points against them, compared with more than 1,000 for Fords.
SYNOPSIS: British driver Roger Clark in a works-entered Ford Escort (number 2) was in a commanding lead as the East African Safari Rally entered the final miles of its first half on Saturday. Ahead was Nairobi and a great many of the Rally's gruelling 3,000 miles were behind. The Ford team was doing well and looked set to repeat last year's performance and win the Team Prize.
A total of 89 care had set off in the Rally on the previous Thursday. At the wheel of one of the other works-entered Escorts, number 16, was Timo Makinen.
But Datsuns were well in the running for honours - much more than anyone expected at this stage. Of the 89 starters, only about 50 of them survived the severe hammering and mechanical punishment meted out by the roads in the first half of the event.
In the second stage of the Rally, here through the Rift Valley, there was no sign of car number two, the leader driven by Roger Clark. The Escort of Makinen passed.
Then number B, a Peugeot 405.
Here was Clark, at last, but that lead had considerably diminished and the Escort didn't seem to be going as well as it had.
One of the privately entered Datsuns, that of Ann Taieth, charged by in great style.
The fears about Roger Clark were well founded. His Escort's steering had gone, victim of the tortuous roads. there was no alternative but to retire - both a personal tragedy and one for the Ford Team. With them out of the way, Datsuns quickly took up the running.
Another Peugeot still going well, but on the provisional points placings through Narok - ninth checkpoint out from Nairobi - five of the first ten care were Datsuns. Unofficially, they had 350 penalty points fewer than Fords.