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Collinge maintains lead
East African Safari Rally : Leg 4
The head of the leaderboard of the 2005 East African Safari Rally remains largely unchanged after the fourth day of competition, with Kenyan Rob Collinge maintaining his lead in the Datsun 260Z. Belgium's Gerard Marcy holds second in a
Ford Escort, with John Lloyd holding on to his third position in the lead Porsche 911.
Today (Monday), the East African Safari Rally took the crews north of Nairobi and into the famed Masai Mara for another four competitive sections and 175.38 competitive kilometres. The route headed out towards Nakuru and the Delamere Estates for the first section of the day before heading to Narok and the Mara plain, awash with spectacular game. The crews spent the overnight halt in the Mara Simba Lodge after driving a total of 504.65 kilometres and nearly nine hours on the road.

Collinge, co-driven by Anton Levitan, started the day with nearly 16 minutes in hand and marginally extended his advantage during the day, despite some gearbox problems in the second section (CS16).

"It wasn't going into fourth properly," said the Kenyan, who won CS15. "The stages have been very good today, but there were a lot of cows and sheep which needed a bit of caution. Overall I'm happy with the day though."

Gerard Marcy, who was one of the early leading contenders in the 2003 East African Safari Rally, had a virtually problem-free run in the Escort, although co-driver Alain Lopes, who is competing for the first time, had some problems with the road book. "Our only problem today was losing time in CS18 when we got a bit lost," said Gerard.

John Lloyd and Paul Amandini also powered through the day without trouble, their Porsche 911 not missing a beat during the 175.38 kilometres of competition. "Everything's been fine today, other than wrong-slotting in CS18," said John. "We've had no problems at all."

Stig Blomqvist and Ana Goni maintain fourth, the duo relieved to have escaped without problems after a frustrating day yesterday. They claimed fastest time in CS17. Frederic Dor - who won CS16 - and Iain Freestone round off the top six, with Australian Graham Alexander climbing up the leaderboard from ninth to seventh overnight. Safari veteran Björn Waldegård suffered with brake problems during the day and slipped to eighth while former team-mate Juha Kankkunen climbed from 14th to 11th in the Datsun 240Z after winning the final section of the leg (CS18).

Tuesday (6 December) is a welcome rest day for the crews in the Masai Mara. However with nine hours of permitted servicing time, support teams are likely to be busy throughout the day. The competitive action then resumes on Wednesday 7 December (Leg 6) with another big day covering a total of 609.01 kilometres.

The route takes the crews from the Masai Mara, north, for another three sections over 176.66 competitive kilometres. The first section (CS19) takes them up the Mau Escarpment and is one of the toughest and roughest of the event, reaching altitudes of 2,900 metres. The route then takes the crews through the famous Kerio Valley before the overnight camp at the Du Toits farm, 12 kilometres from Eldoret.

Leaderboard after Leg 4
1. Rob Collinge/Anton Levitan Datsun 260Z 8hr 15min 33sec
2. Gerard Marcy/Alain Lopes Ford Escort RS 8hr 33min 32sec
3. John Lloyd/Paul Amandini Porsche 911 8hr 40min 49sec
4. Stig Blomqvist/Ana Goni Ford Escort RS1600 8hr 41min 11sec
5. Frederic Dor/Paul Howarth Porsche 911 8hr 44min 25sec
6. Iain Freestone/Preston Ayres Ford Escort 9hr 00min 55sec
7. Graham Alexander/David Stewart Datsun 260Z 9hr 02min 10sec
8. Björn Waldegård/David Cavanagh Porsche 911 9hr 02min 25sec
9. Simon Glover/Russ Langthorne Ford Escort 9hr 07min 11sec
10. Anthony Ward/Ievan Thomas Ford Escort 9hr 23min 39sec
Press release East African Safari Rally


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