INTRODUCTION By the half-way stage in the Silver Jubilee Safari rally in Kenya on Friday (8 April), most of the competitors of the original 68 starters were still going after two days and nights of the world's toughest rally.
GV No. 1, Waldegaard of Sweden's Ford Escort, arriving at checkpoint in Kenya Safari Rally
CU Waldegaard sitting in car as mud cleaned from under wings
CU Car away
GV No, 17, Preston of Kenya's Ford Escort, round bend
GV Car around bend
GV No. 11, Nicolas of France's Peugeot 504, round bend and down road
GV Car driving past cattle on road
GV No. 10, Singh of Kenya's Colt Lancer, down road
GTV Cars along road
SPORT: MOTOR RALLYING
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Background: INTRODUCTION By the half-way stage in the Silver Jubilee Safari rally in Kenya on Friday (8 April), most of the competitors of the original 68 starters were still going after two days and nights of the world's toughest rally.
SYNOPSIS: Leading the depleted field at the half way mark were the Swedish team of Bjorn Waldegaard and Hans Thorszelius, in a British ford Escort. On provisional figures, they had 424 penalty points -- 74 less than their nearest rivals.
Two days and nights of heavy rain turned stretches of the route into muddy quagmires. As well as putting the drivers and vehicles under strain, the conditions put an extra burden on the works team servicing the cars. Waldegaard and Thorszelius were first to start in the rally, and led for several hundred miles (kilometres) of the 3,750-mile (6,000 kilometre) course before losing the lead to another Ford Escort.
Kenya's Vic Preston and John Lyall were leading the field at one stage, but they had to return to Nairobi after having problems with the car's clutch, alternators and rear shock absorbers. After appearing set to be among the final leaders, they dropped back to seventh place on points. To re-gain their lead, they had to overcome a broken windscreen and, like all the other competitors, plenty of mud.
Jean Pierre Nicolas and Jean Todt of France were running third at one stage in their Peugeot. But the Peugeot company, together with ford, Lancia, Opel and Datsun, were forced out of the running for the manufacturers prize because they no longer had the minimum of three cars competing.
With the other manufacturers unable to compete, the Japanese Colt Lancers were left with a better chance of the manufacturers prize. Three weathered the first leg, holding fourth, sixth and eighth positions. Their attack is being led by Kenya's 'Flying Sikh', Joginder Singh, and co-drive David Doig. Singh has won the Safari three times already -- the only driver in the history of the event to do so.