Drivers and their cars are preparing in and around Nairobi for the world's toughest car rally -- the four-day East African Safari over 3,000 miles, which is scheduled to start on Thursday (April 19).
GV INT Fords being prepared in garage
SCU, ZOOM TO CU Driver Vic Preston
SV, ZOOM IN Mechanic checks Hannu Mikkola's car
SV Drivers, PAN Cars
GV EXT Peugeot being tested
GV INT Peugeot garage, with men working on cars (4 shots)
GV Datsun, with mechanics working (3 shots)
GV EXT Datsun being tested (2 shots)
Initials BB/1854 ESP/0055
SPORT: CAR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Drivers and their cars are preparing in and around Nairobi for the world's toughest car rally -- the four-day East African Safari over 3,000 miles, which is scheduled to start on Thursday (April 19). Among the 93 entries are a Ford team -- one of their drivers, Hannu Mikkola, won last year in a ford Escort -- and a Datsun team. The Japanese cars have consistently done well in past Safaris.
The route for this year's Safari, the 21st since it began in 1953, will run over a restricted course avoiding Uganda. The cars will start from Nairobi, go south the Mombasa and Dar Es Salaam, then head north for a lengthy loop around Kenya to return to Nairobi -- where the first car is scheduled to finish at dawn on April 23.
SYNOPSIS: Cars for the twenty-first East African Safari, which starts in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday, have been busy preparing for the world's toughest car rally. In garages around Nairobi, teams, such as Ford, have been busy putting finishing touches to cars like this one -- to be driven by Finnish driver Hannu Mikkola, who won last year in a Ford Escort.
There are ninety-three entries in this year's rally, including a Peugeot team. The route will be a restricted course through Kenya and Tanzania. It does not go through Uganda, traditionally part of the rally. The starting point is Nairobi, and from there cars will run south to Mombasa and Dar Es Salaam before turning north for a lengthy loop around Kenya and returning to finish in Nairobi. The first car is scheduled to finish at dawn on April the twenty-third.
A team of Japanese Datsuns are competing again, after chalking up several successful past rallies. This year, there are forty of them, including private entries.
The rally over three thousand miles -- that's about four thousand eight hundred kilometres -- is also being entered by Porsches, a rotary-engine Mazda, a Daf, a Citroen, several Volvos, two Triumphs, a Renault and a Toyota.