Funny how, what goes round comes round. In the Seventies Journalists were flocking around Eastern Africa – wondering if an Outsider would ever win the Safari Rally. It took over 20 attempts for a European to finally break the Safari Jinx. Little did we know of the Seismic impact the Safari Rally would have on the Motorsport Calendar. The Rebirth of the Safari Rally has been running since 2003 and has had 3 successful runs. It all started in 1953 - 56 years on and the world press is now focusing on this Classic event again.

The East African Classic Safari Rally. It is hard to compare an event of such magnitude to any other. The Monte Carlo or may be the legendary RAC Rally here in UK? All these events have their own characteristics, but the Safari sits in its own League of Extraordinary Rallies - The only true test of Man and his Machinery.

Everyone that has been to East Africa and either attempted the rally or just spectated in it comes back in awe. It is unpredictable and year after year everyone returns. No stage is ever the same. Its varied terrain is a magnet for rallying lunatics. From the tropical coastal fringe to the lush forests in the Highlands, dropping into semi desert areas, little can compare to the beauty of these mountains and the Great Rift Valley.

Dust can in an instant turn into mud – “Black Cotton Soil”, sticky and as heavy as clay can harden into massive ruts that are knee deep. The red earth soil in a flash becoming as slick as ice! Gravel changing from smooth to littered with rocks the size of boulders waiting to put a hole in your sump, damage your axle or simply just break your suspension. The rally is not about speed, it is more about understanding the terrain, knowing when you can put metal to the floor and when to simply back off and navigate these unpredictable hazards.

With East Africa perched on the Equator, the climate varies tremendously. Outside temperatures at sea level soar to 35°C and as you get into the highlands you get a slight chill, where some of the towns have seen temperatures plummet to below freezing.

The Safari is not all about rocks, wash ways and hole-ridden roads, there are roads that are a sheer joy to drive on. You still need to drive with caution, remember the rally is on open roads and there is nothing to tell you about the broken down “Matatu” (local country bus) around the next corner or the herd of cattle or even that pack of Lions!! Tales have come about some drivers stuck in stages unable to look under the bonnet for fear of the lion lazing in the shade of the Acacia Tree right next to the car!

For a lot of the foreign drivers the Safari is an event that they will not miss. They love the country and in the words of World Champion Bjorn Waldegard “Kenya has a special place in my heart”. …Simply explains why he returned. He first won the event in 1977 and came back in 2007 to win it again!

Sira Racing has attempted the event on 3 occasions now. 2003 and 2005 had its trials and tribulations. 2007 was the team’s latest outing to the East African Savannah and in 2009 Hardev Sira (Better Know as Gogi) and Team – will take on the mammoth event again, hoping to better their best position. To achieve this’ Sira Racing have taken the competition to the next level. A Ford Escort Mk 1 is the chosen car over the V6 504.