Sixty-five cars started in one of the world's most difficult motor rallies, the Safari rally, in Kenya on Thursday (15 April), but flash floods, mechanical problems and crashes eliminated over half of the starters in the first few hours.
GV PAN ACROSS FROM Kenyatta Conference Centre TO cars on grid
SV Car No. 3 Timo Makinen in Peugeot on starting ramp
SV Vice-President Moi with starting flag
SV Policeman on horse controlling crowds
GV Moi lowers flag and Makinen leaves ramp
SV Sandro Munari shakes hands with Vice-President
CU PAN ACROSS Crowd
GV Munari leaving ramps
SV Joginder Singh greets Moi, with co-driver
CU ZOOM OUT TO SV Singh's car leaving ramp as crowd looks on (2 shots)
SV Harry Kallstrom in Datsun off ramp
SV PAN Makinen past camera on course
SV Roadside spectators watching Munari pass (2 shots)
SV Singh around bend as photographer takes pictures (2 shots)
LV Car No. 25 Howard Lawrence Brown with lights on at dusk
Initials BB/2200 DE/JB/BB/2245
SPORT: MOTOR RALLYING
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Background: Sixty-five cars started in one of the world's most difficult motor rallies, the Safari rally, in Kenya on Thursday (15 April), but flash floods, mechanical problems and crashes eliminated over half of the starters in the first few hours.
The rally has attracted some of the world's top drivers and, although the number of entries was relatively low this year: the quality of the drivers and the variety of the cars is likely to ensure the rally's continued popularity.
The first 27 cars to start managed to plough through swollen river tributaries, but then a violent tropical storm left the other 38 cars trapped on high ground around Kitui, the fourth checkpoint, surrounded by water nine feet (3 metres) deep.
Kenya's Vice-President, Daniel Arap Moi, accompanied by the Chairman of the Safari committee, Dr. Bharat Bhardway, flagged the cars off the starting ramp.
Leading at the half way mark of the first leg were Kenyans Joginder Singh and David Doig in a Colt Lancer. Singh, known locally as the "flying Sikh" has won the rally twice and is determined to be the first man to win three times.
SYNOPSIS: The world's top drivers and their cars gathered in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on thursday for the start of the world's toughest motor rally, the Safari rally.
They were flagged away from the start by Kenya's Vice-President Danial Arap Moi, to face almost 5,000 kilometres of the country's most difficult terrain.
One of the first away was this Peugeot 504 coupe, driven by Timo Makinen.
The pre-race favourite was Italian Sandro Munari, who entered a Lancia Stratos. Munari won the Monte Carlo rally this year and has taken part in several Safaris. Last year he was placed second in the event.
Last year, Kenya's Joginder Singh won the rally for the second time. He's known locally as the flying Sikh and he's determined to be the first man to win three times.
This Datsun 710 is driven by Harry Kallstrom of Sweden.
About half of the 65 cars were eliminated only a few hours after the start after they encountered flash floods, mechanical problems and crashes. The first 27 cars managed to plough through swollen river tributaries, but a violent tropical storm left the rest stranded. The route is almost entirely on dirt roads, incorporating mountain tracks, river crossings, mud and desert.