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Rally: Amos and Ceci claim maiden Classic title victory

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Action at the Classic rally. PHOTO/Courtesy
  • This was the 11th edition of the rally
  • Eugenio Amos and Paolo Ceci were crowned winners
  • Kenya’s Baldev Chager was third

Eugenio Amos and Paolo Ceci are the new champions of the 11th edition of the East African Safari Classic Rally after an electrifying climax to the 9-days of thrilling action

An excited Amos was delighted with the victory over a tough terrain.

“It’s been a hell of a ride even last day was tricky but we said we take easy it was raining we had to like second gear and third all the time but we somehow managed to survive,” he said after the grueling rally.

After a riveting duel with defending champion Baldev Chager and navigator Gareth Dawe for the top honors Amos and Ceci navigated the demanding Kenyan landscapes with precision to clinch the title in provisional total time of 14:42:35.2 after the final stage CS24 to win the title.

Chager and Gareth Dawe, the previous champions, displayed remarkable resilience and sportsmanship throughout the rally to settle for second place 10 minutes: 45.0 seconds behind the leader with a total provisional time of 14:53:20.2

Most difficult rally 

Chager said after the rally; “I can tell you the most difficult rally I have done even being local. Anything and everything that could be thrown at you was done. We thought the last stage we would just drive through, the rains said, no, no, wait a minute. It was so tricky you could see beyond the bonnet. Everything was steaming up big drops on the side.”

Wrapping up the 1,2,3 podium, Kris Rosenberger and Nicola Bleicher showcased there skill and determination, securing a well-deserved third in a provisional time of 15:11:40.2, while Bonamy Grimes finished third.

“We still had some fights for position 1,2,3 which were still open, I was lucky, but our opponent wasn’t in that moment. After a big jump he was packed on the side. Not sure what happened we moved up to three. And we just had to finish the rally which was difficult enough,” Rosenberger commented.



East Africa Classic Rally flag off. PHOTO/Courtesy

Earlier on Saturday during the 7th leg, Chager managed to slash Amos’s lead from 19 to 11 minutes, a big chunk of time that gave the multiple champion a glimmer of hope of retaining his title, in a day that saw many of the drivers face a real test of the 9 days in the first stage of the day in Taita.

Two time Classic Rally champion Ian Duncan finished 5th overall and Farhaaz Khan 11th. Other Kenyan drivers who complete the rally include Shakeel Khan 15th, Nish Lakhani 22nd Anthony Nielsen 29th.

Speed and agility tested

The rally tested not only the speed and agility of the competitors but also their endurance and strategic navigation.

The East African Safari Classic Rally is not merely a race; it is a celebration of heritage, a test of mettle, and a gathering of the finest rally enthusiasts from around the globe.

The 2023 edition lived up to its legacy, offering an unforgettable spectacle of skill, camaraderie, and adventure.

A total of 50 drivers out of the 60 managed to complete the classic rally, reflecting the resilience of those who persevered through the challenging stages.

Several participants retired from the competition, while others showcased their determination in the super rally category, successfully navigating the remaining days.

Top 10 Classifications

Eugenio AMOS  Cl4         PORSCHE 911    14:42:35.2

Baldev CHAGER Cl4         PORSCHE 911    14:53:20.2          14:53:20.2              10:45.0

Kris ROSENBERGER         PORSCHE 911    15:11:40.2          15:11:40.2              29:05.0

Bonamy GRIMES             PORSCHE 911    15:32:56.3          15:32:56.3              50:21.1

Ian DUNCAN      Cl4         DATSUN 280Z    16:12:10.4          16:12:10.4              01:29:35.2

Patrice PERCHE Cl4         PORSCHE 911    16:26:11.9          16:28:11.9              01:45:36.7

Andrew SIDDALL             DATSUN 240Z    16:51:07.0          16:51:07.0              02:08:31.8

David von SCHINKEL       PORSCHE 911    17:21:46.4          17:21:46.4              02:39:11.2

Iain DOBSON     FORD ESCORT RS1600    17:42:42.6          17:42:42.6              03:00:07.4

Michael HOLMQVIST      PORSCHE 911    17:55:55.2          17:55:55.2              03:13:20.0

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