Some of the world's top rally drivers pit their skills against mud, dust and African roads this week in what has been called the most gruelling rally on the international motoring calendar -- the East African Safari.
GVs lines of rally cars (2 shots)
SV Three Datsun 240Z8s arriving
Sv Datsun No.3 (Ove Andersson of Sweden)
SV Geraldine Davies and navigator affixing number
SV Ford Escort passing camera
GV Car No.16 (Peter Shiyuka) speeds up to camera and stops
GV Spectators look over rally cars (2 shots)
SCU Children peeping into windows
SV Car No. 8 (Datsun 240Z) (Metha and Doughty)
CU Japanese rally officials fixing number
SV Edgar Hermann speaking (SOUND ON FILM)
GV Car No.16 round corner and past camera, kicking up dust.
TRANSCRIPT: INTERVIEWER: "Edgar, now you've seen over the route this year, what do you think are your chances of pulling off a double by winning again?"
SEQ. 11: HERMANN: "I don't know, it will be very difficult to win again. The route is (INDISTINCT) enough, but otherwise, we're quite confident."
INTERVIEWER: "What do you think of the new parts of the route?"
HERMANN: "It's like a few years ago, but much rougher, and I believe the speeds have increased which don't bother us, because we normally drive anyway flat out, but otherwise, I think it's ....I think it will be okay."
INTERVIEWER: "Good, thank you very much and good luck."
HERMANN: "Okay, thank you."
Initials OS/042 OS/054
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Some of the world's top rally drivers pit their skills against mud, dust and African roads this week in what has been called the most gruelling rally on the international motoring calendar -- the East African Safari.
About 100 drivers from Australia, Britain, Canada, Finland, Japan, Poland, Sweden and Zambia have entered the five-day, 3,750-mile (6,000 km) event, which starts and finishes in Dar Es Salaem, the Tanzanian capital.
This year's Safari -- the 20th -- is 250 miles (400kms) shorter than last year. But organisers have added an extended dash through the remote Usambara mountains of northern Tanzania in the final section of the rally.
The section has already claimed one victim: Cyrus Kamundia, a 32-year-old Kenyan university teacher, was killed there during practice earlier this month when his car overturned after skidding off the road in a rainstorm. And meteorologists forecast wet conditions on some of the tougher stretches through Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
Other hazards of the past have included stone-throwing villagers -- and a herd of elephants which forced officials to vacate a checkpoint.
Spearheading the challenge for the honours are the "Flying Finns" -- Timo Makinen and Rauno Aaltonen, Ove Andersson of Swedon (all Monte Carlo winners) and Poland's Sobieslav Zasada. But Kenya's Edgar Hermann, a German-born hotelier, is setting his sights on a third successive win at the wheel of a Datsun 240Z.
SYNOPSIS: Finely-tuned rally cars arrive in Nairobi Kenya as a prelude to what many people say is the most gruelling event in international motoring -- the East Africa Safari. The five-day event covers nearly four-thousand miles.
Spearheading the challenge for honours are Ove Andersson of Sweden in a Datsun Two-Forty Z -- and the "Flying Finns", Timo Makinen and Rauno Aaltonen -- all of them winners of Europe's Monte carlo Rally.
The Safari is a test of both men and machines. last year, only thirty-three of a hundred-and-seven drivers completed the course, which this year takes them trough Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Officials say the route will be rough, tough, fast and wet.
In the past, hazards have included drivers being stoned by angry villagers -- and elephants once forced officials to vacate a check-point.
Edgar Hermann, who's won the last two Safaris, talks of his chances:
After final checks, drivers were to head for Dar Es Salaam, where the rally starts -- and finishes.