Among some of the most exciting things I’ve ever done in my life, was to go to Tanga recently, and attend FIA safety training for rally officials held in the beach resort hotel at the end of June. I was invited following my expression of interest to join the Kilimanjaro Motor Sports Club a couple of months ago, and now I find myself a part of the rallying scene here in Tanzania, with friends on all sides of the sport, including the drivers, marshalls and organisers from across the country. This may be a big departure from teaching and working the village on Kilimanjaro, but as those of you who know me will not be surprised by this, I am a huge fan of motorsport, have been all my life, and here in Africa, its very exciting, with rallies held quite frequently, and spectators given unprecedented access to the cars and teams across a rally weekend.
So it is with no further ado that I introduce the first rally of my career here in Africa, the EDC Power Rally 2012 held just outside Arusha, and organised by the Arusha Motorsports Club, many members of which are now good friends of mine. The cars lined up on Saturday afternoon for the shakedown runs to decide their position for the rally proper on Sunday, and it was a glorious day out on the savannah with the sun beating down, and plenty of beer around to keep everyone happy.
At the end of the first day, plenty had gone on, including two competitors dropping out altogether, and my friend Louis Bonzon, driver of the blue Range Rover Number 25, had some radiator problems, but all in all, things shaped up nicely, ready for an early start on Sunday morning. We headed back out to Meserani, Rally HQ, for around 9am, to get instructions on exactly where to go to get a good view of the cars going past, and we were not disappointed when we eventually made it out to Lamaishe and found a jump, with a clear view of the preceding corner, and the place all to ourselves for the afternoon. From there, we headed to Samora, for the next stage, then back to Monduli and eventually into town to catch the final super special stage. No need for more ranting on, I’ll let the photos do the talking….
Look out for more photos like this, next time I’ll be an official on the start line, hopefully able to take more photos and some good videos too!!