New Race4 in Kenya Safari Rally 2013

Posted on November 28, 2012 by John Glynn

Organizers of the East African Safari Classic Rally have announced that a new charity will bring a six-car Porsche team on the 2013 event. Titled Race4Health, the group is the brainchild of David von Schinkel, a Swedish entrepreneur and Porsche fan well versed in motorsport management. The team recently held a launch event and charity auction in Stockholm which raised a staggering £150,000 ($240,000) for the team’s charities.

Repeating the rally-winning formula established by Race4Change on the 2011 Safari, Tuthill Porsche will again provide its fast, reliable Porsche 911s for a team of drivers including our 2011 winner Bjorn Waldegard and another world champion, Stig Blomqvist. Race4Change founder and charitable visionary, Steven Funk, offered his best wishes to the Race4Health campaign.

“I am impressed and gratified that others have taken such bold steps to make themselves more than just racers this year. I hope we can say Race4Change had a small part in that with our team, Bjorn included, last time around.”

Surinder Thatthi, organiser of the East African Safari Classic Rally also expressed his gratitude to Race4Change for their groundbreaking charitable efforts on the last two Safari Classic events. “Steven Funk and Race4Change were the pioneers in combining the rally entry with charity. Steve did well for our event in many ways and we do thank him.”

Keep up with all the rally news on the Ferdinand Porsche Magazine & Daily News Blog.

2013 Safari Classic Rally Dates Announced

Posted on May 25, 2012 by John Glynn

The organizers of the East African Safari Classic Rally have announced the dates of the 2013 event: 21st to the 29th of November.

I blogged the 2011 event in full with and Tuthill Porsche. We had a ball, with R4C driver Björn Waldegård taking his sixth Safari victory and the first for a Porsche on the world’s toughest rally. 

Further down the field, Race4Change supremo Steve Funk finished 6th in a Tuthill Porsche, and Travis Pastrana came and raced with us, keeping the team and the crowds entertained with his uptempo personality and superbly attack-minded approach. “The best three days of my life” was how Travis described his experience.

No sooner had the 2013 dates been made public than I had a number of emails from people interested in competing. Did I know anyone looking for a driver, or a navigator? 

Here’s a nice bit of Race4Change video to explain what R4C is all about. Keep up with all the rally news on the Ferdinand Porsche Magazine & Daily News Blog.

Steven Funk Video on Real Leaders

Posted on May 22, 2012 by John Glynn

Nice little video interview with Steve Funk on the Real Leaders website. Steven tells the story of our 2011 East African Safari Rally effort, the victory and the ideas behind microfinance.

Steve’s passion for microfinance shines above everything else. Love it!

Kadidi and the Race4Change Football Team

Posted on Feb 2, 2012 by John Glynn

John Glynn: One final story from me before I move on to pastures new! It’s been a privilege to work with Race4Change for the last 6 months or more: many thanks for all your support and enthusiasm.

Here’s Gabriel Kadidi in Nairobi: I was a victim of the post-election violence 2007/8 in Kenya that you know very well. I know very well how the youths were seriously affected.

I have started and created Race4change Football Team and soon Race4change football tournaments in different slums for both girls and boys in the field of sports that I have organized. I strongly believe it will make a great change to spread peace and from the famous sport and teams around different slums, It has been received so well in Kibera as I did share it on my radio show.

In Kibera, I used my show to share the glory after the East Africa Classic Rally 2011 and shared how Race4change performed. I also shared to start Race4change football team with youths to fight idleness and motivate them, give hope and uplift their lives through the sport. This was received with great support by those who listened to me. I also met with the chiefs of the area who are great supporters of Jamiibora, and the administrations and elders of the villages who followed the Classic Rally and Race4change 2011.

Am happy to inform that I have already some of the youths who are ready to spread the gospel of peace throughsoccer and what the Race4change believes in. I almost lost my life through the last post election violence and I did lose some of the friends I grew up with, due to being used into violence due to lack of doing nothing which am fighting to keep the youth in sports through Race4change spirit.

In Kibera – the biggest slum in sub-Saharan Africa with the population of close to 2million – there are close to 110 young teams in 15 villages that I know personally and interact with. In Mathare, Mukuru, and most of major slums in Nairobi and where JamiiBora has branches countrywide through mobilization, there is going to be Race4change football tournaments. My idea is to make the youths learn how to change their lives, access loans, get to know their talents, get out of drugs, prostitution, crime and be great ambassador to this country and role model to others and future families. 

The positive thing is that ghetto life teaches one lessons no university can and making the change begins with an individual. It will be great to see how these kids, despite playing barefoot, bare chest and in bare land (no grass and parking lot) for the love of the game, can still spread the message of peace. I have 300+ youths who want to be part of the team and I won’t give up on this dream.

I greatly thank Steve Funk for the blessings, and for his belief we can all make a change in whatever way to make this world a better place and we only live once and the time to make that change is now! It will be great to see him play with the boys someday and, as always, never say die! The spirit and Race4change torch should keep on burning beyond the Rally!

London to Cape Town Rally 2012: The Final Day

Posted on January 29, 2012 by John Glynn

Today is the final day of the 2012 London to Cape Town World Cup Rally. It’s a bit of a nail biter finish. Yesterday afternoon, the P2 Subaru overtook the leading HiLux and enters the last day just three seconds ahead! We wish our boxer-engined brothers well in securing the victory.

That said, I also own a Toyota, so perhaps I should be rooting for them. Plus I own a Porsche so I am right with those guys also! If I ever need proof that rallying is my thing, I guess I just need to look at the leader list on this event and then open my garage doors.

Anyway, some good fun and games on the event while I have been off the radar shooting classic Porsche features. Francis Tuthill has blown up his HiLux’s turbocharger (now fixed), Hayden and Alastair have strapped a bucket to the back of the 912 and the 911 has held onto a solid third position. Here’s Hayden’s text at the end of the recent 1000-kilometre stage.

In Windhoek now, knocked over the 1040km yesterday, no problems, the 600+ today no problems either. The world cup sections today topped 2000m elevation, with 35C ambient, so some hills were as low as second gear.

The Kenyan tires proved to offer pretty miserable grip on the Namibian gravel, resulting a fairly large time drop for the 912, but I doubt it provides much of a gain – if any for the P2 Volvo in class C. Long day tomorrow with a similar format.

Less than 2000km to Capetown now, so arrival seem much more real. The motor is taking a bottle a day of Wynn’s “Re-Charger” in an effort to offset the spoonfuls of sand consumed by the motor on the Marsabit road. So far so good: the magic additive makes a noticeable difference.

Next text was from Alastair at the end of the following day, who told me of their latest mod to cope with ambient temps as high as 40 degrees Celsius:

Another busy day many k tests and car problems: all overcome with good humour and fortitude. Lost front ride height again but it has been found. Lost the brakes, but a quick search and a new pipe got them back. The rack got bent again by a bit of unobserved Namibia, but some formula type lock-to-lock activity on the straights soon wore that in.

The REAL triumph of the day was the cure to the overheating which was done in 15 mins: a quick bucket purchase in the local store, chopped in half and zip-tied to the engine cover. Hey presto: cool oil and happiness! H is doing is extensive homework for tomorrow: more later.

So at the end of Day 28, the boys had slipped to 7th spot, behind the Landcruiser. Hayden said:

Into Clanwilliam, all good. It was another great day of rallying. We took a conservative, but competitive approach. We have had a nice couple of days chasing Matt and Owen (MG ZR), likewise them protecting against us getting any nearer. Some fantastic world cup sections in the last 2 days, made more complicated by the hot weather.

Probably 40C today, but our new AC/WEVO Namibia, half bucket air scoop on the decklid has allowed us to run middle of the gauge all day, with only a modest creep on some long climbs. Motor is happier (although no quieter) now we are back under 500m, feels peppy enough but like the whole car, it’s certainly not fresh any more.

We still have world cup sections – 3 more on the final day, plus some tight timing that means things could change between Clanwilliam and Capetown. I think we lost 2 or 3 to the MG today, but good fun on some seriously wicked roads.

Driving 8/10ths on roads with 200-metre drops and barely a single track width is quite exhilarating. Speeds up to 155km/hr on the fast Namibian gravel, that’s all she had at the altitude and in the heat. I am sure the 911 could have run 200 km/h if they needed to. One section today was set at 130km/hr + average: sweet!

The rally is due to finish any time now. Keep up with all the rally news on the Ferdinand Porsche Magazine & Daily News Blog.

Day 21 London Cape Town: Throttles on MAX

Posted on January 23, 2012 by John Glynn

Pics by Gerard Brown/Enduro Rally and Turbo’s Boys in Egypt
The number 45 Porsche 911 of Joost van Cauwenberge and Jacques Castalein is demonstrating relentless pace on the London Cape Town. Down to 7th after a penalty for non-standard dampers, the Porsche is now back up to 3rd overall and setting some blistering times. I should point out that the damper fitment was discussed with the organisers before the off: the top dogs knew what was on the car but waited until Nairobi to apply a one-hour penalty.

“We discussed the damper options with the organisers before the event,” says Richard Tuthill. “While we knew our modern-style dampers would eventually incur a time penalty, our experience in Kenya (Safari Rally winners with told us it was worth it. The car’s reliability and the speed it can carry over this terrain vindicates the choice. It has backfired a little, as the organisers have now cancelled some of the rougher sections of the event to protect lesser-prepared cars, but the Tuthill 911 is still running a strong pace and giving the crew a consistent package they can trust.”

The official rally reports always make for interesting reading and this was part of the last one: “The rocky mountain climb saw Alastair Caldwell split his fuel tank. He slowed just enough to give Jane Edgington her finest moment so far: driving a Maestro in an overtaking sweep past the Porsche on a timed mountain climb. The Blunt Subaru was slowed by overheating, while the Cauwenberge Porsche 911 was a remarkable sight lifting a front wheel while hanging the back out…”

The 911 duo are clearly revelling in the conditions and who could blame them? Driving one of those magnificent Tuthill Porsches across such epic terrain – in the bigger picture of a rally from London to Cape Town – must be a magnificent adventure. Add speed and talent to the equation and get yourself up to a competitive position? It’s what heroes are made of. I envy Joost and Jacques something rotten, but possibly not as much as Hayden and Alastair in the amazing Porsche 912. Race4Change is always for the underdog and the 1968 four cylinder is all of that: mixing it with the big boys!

The organizers’ note on Alastair and Hayden’s fuel tank is correct: Hayden filled me in last night with a text. Though there is work to be done on the 912 (no idea why we haven’t named that car yet), the boys are also loving it and holding a steady seventh overall – just a few minutes down on the Belgian Landcruiser 80 series (one of four 4x4s in the top seven). As the proud owner of a sturdy Landcruiser 80, I’m all for the Toyota taking it to the top five, but the 912 deserves a top five place for what it is going through. 912 navigator Hayden’s texts describing events just keep getting better:

“Another gruelling day, followed by midnight in the car park making running repairs, upgrades and routine maintenance.

We got a huge amount of mud injected into the gap between the now badly battered floorpan and the equally battered rear skid plate. The net result was a jammed throttle – about 20% after a quick stop to investigate it was clear that it was not a quick repair – so we jumped back in and drove the balance of the second and all the 3rd World Cup sections using the ignition switch for the throttle control and co-driver for gear changing. We got pretty proficient, only dropping one additional minute on the third section once AC nursed the throttle to about 80% stuck open.

We burned too much time making a modest repair in the final road section and had to really boogie (78+ AV) to make the end of day without penalty, this push was at the expense of another RF strut insert that melted in protest. So we have modified the skid with some local Dodoma sheet metal and replaced the RF insert. We will see what tomorrow brings…

We still have no driver window, no passenger door latch and this afternoon the wipers suddenly turned on and gave us a breakdance display before stopping in the upright position – a mystery for another night.”

Next day:

“Day 21 casualty was the fuel tank. We are constantly suffering loss of front ride height due to yielding aftermarket front torsion bar (supplier name deliberately not revealed). The bottom of the tank has been relentlessly pounded, even though it is well protected from abrasion and piercing by the front skid plate.

About 15km in to the first road section we started to smell fuel. The 95 litre tank was full, so we took the calculated risk to proceed when it appeared to be a modest leak. Ultimately we made it to the end of day, leaking about the same amount as we were burning.

First to end of day control, tank out, AC walked up the road with a local boy to a banzai welder who brazed up 3 cracks. Tank back on before the last car was into TC. Cranked in front ride height again and we were off.

First car thru the border to Zambia, we have 360km to the hotel, then back to items on our long job list – then last night added wipers when we discovered the rattle on the dash, days ago, was self disassembly of the wiper motor from its bracketry! Harsh event, great exposure to system weaknesses!”

London Cape Town Day 19: Porsche Penalties

Posted on January 20, 2012 by John Glynn

Pics by Gerard Brown/Rally Organisers

Day 19 on the London to Cape Town and it’s back to business as normal in Africa: smashing nice cars to pieces! If this keeps up, then perhaps only the support 4x4s will take the flag in Cape Town.

At the end of Day 17, the 911 lay 3rd with the 912 6th. A quick protest on dampers and the 911 lost an hour: putting the 912 ahead of it at the half way point.

Yesterday was a rest day – if you call it that. Just swapped some texts with Hayden Burvill, navigator in the number 35 car, to catch up with what’s going on.

Epic rest day yesterday: non-stop working on the car. Today was the most dangerous so far. Punishing averages: 120 km/h for 32 km in one section. To preserve the car, we dropped about 30 mins, which will be less than many. Don’t expect it to affect our 2-litre Classic lead.

Just did some WEVO Kilimanjaro: new oil cooler brackets. Old ones were cracked and broken, held together with zip ties, but too much to get done on the rest day, so it got rolled to tonight’s list. So it goes!

We are on Bilsteins at the rear now too, after we destroyed one Ohlin as the result of a third party vendor error: no Loctite, in spite of the WEVO order spec. A part self-disassembled and lead to a spiral downfall that we are still recovering from.

I asked how the 911 had been demoted from third to seventh position:

That is correct, they were finally penalized 1 hour for non-compliance of dampers being remote canister style. Forbidden in Classic classes. Car 10 was given same. So at the mid way, the 912 was leading the 911 in spite of precious little likelihood.

As far as I can see there is a 2 min error on day 19 sheets and we should have taken that time off the 33 car. We are shown as early at a TC, yet we followed the 33 in on 2 min intervals. One to sort in the morning. Sleep now, WEVO manjaro out.

Huge list of failures today: lots of our friends ended up on trucks. Here’s an excerpt from the organizers’ report:

Our course was remote rallying down long mostly-sandy tracks – choking dust clouds cutting visibility in the early-morning sunshine was predictable, so crews started at two-minute intervals. It was an example of Kenyan rally-tracks at their best, but it was not to everyone’s liking; Alastair Caldwell reckoned it was difficult for cars that have already suffered greatly.

Underlining just how hard African rallying really is, Steve Blunt in the Subaru (P2 overall) posted another good time today but finished with bent front suspension after opting for a change to longer springs yesterday which proved to be too soft. The driver was all about “is it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when he reached the Tanzanian border.

The 964 Porsche of Tomas Prenosil caught fire while on the back of a truck trying to reach the border. Flames engulfed the whole car, including one and their carnets. Francis Tuthill, riding inside the top ten driving a Toyota Hilux, came out of the bush with a bent rear axle and arrived at the hotel on the back of a truck. Car 31, the VW Karmann Ghia (below), has fuel-pump problems after a dose of fuel so dirty the fuel-pump gave up trying.

Tomorrow is a car-killing rally all on its own! The route goes from Arusha to Dodoma: a favourite of the old Safari Rally. The day is 440 kilometres long and is bound to be misery squared for some.

After Tanzania we get into Zambia and Namibia before hitting South Africa. It doesn’t get any easier: Jan 25th is over 1,000 kilometres long…

London to Cape Town Rally: Day 17 is Carnage

Posted on January 17, 2012 by John Glynn

Pictures: Bert Callens and

Day 17 of the London to Cape Town Rally and all dreams of a quick breeze down a ‘civilised’ East African coast have been smashed to smithereens. So have most of the cars competing on the rally, thanks to the horrendous Marsabit to Nairobi road.

Had a text from Hayden Burvill, navigator in Porsche number 35 today, huge essay packed with nice insider detail from the cockpit of the 912. He’s been suffering a stomach bug hence the radio silence. Here’s what he says:

Has been a tough 72 hours. But in spite of the rigours, we have still picked up a position I understand, was told 6th last night.

Ethiopia was fantastic. Hundreds of thousands, if not into the millions, lined the roadway all the way. Friendly, curious, proud: not at all like my preconceptions of Ethiopia. Crossing the border at Moyale was a complete let down: that part of Kenya is in poor shape compared to their northern neighbours.

Day 15 only had one tight time section with a 107km/hr average, turned out to be on Tarmac across the plains so I expect everyone cleaned it. In contrast, day 16 was a car breaker: only the Tuthill Porsche cleaned this section and the 912 (other than 4WD’s). It was at some expense to us: we had a puncture in the first 15km, then in our push to get back on time, we broke the LR damper. We did not stop to check, just pushed on with about 30km to go. The noise was horrific and when we stopped, the upper mount had been battered to pulp. We were able to fix it with parts on board and continue.

The balance on the day – another 170km was equally insane, roads like a quarry floor, not really roads at all. We had another puncture and blew the RF damper insert getting into Marsabit. In contrast to the P2P, equally rough, but for 10 times the distance. Other blogs may have better descriptions.

My last 48 hours has been a fevered mess, as I got a stomach infection in Moyale and was next to useless yesterday afternoon when we got to Marsabit. Doc Moe gave me the good stuff and it seems to have knocked it. I am looking forwards to a meal tonight: my first solids in 48 hours. AC has taken the 912 across town to the workshop we will be using on the rest day tomorrow.

The 400km of extreme stony roads has taken its toll on the 912. Today in some soft sandy tracks we had to take down some small trees – at speed – resulting in a bit more body damage. We gave up 29 minutes today when one section was impossibly fast for us, plus we had a puncture which after a flat tyre this morning before the off gave us no spares, so prudence was necessary. I am sure we lost time to the Volvo we are battling in Class C but not sure if it was enough to reverse our positions.

More later, need to sleep and be fresh to work on the car in the morning.

Here’s the day’s headlines from the organisers:

Cars are now arriving at the big thatched awning of the old-colonial Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. It’s hard to believe that one of the worst roads in the whole of Africa is actually the main road to Nairobi.

  • The Joost Van Cauwenberge Porsche breezed it, as did Andy Actman’s Hilux but most of the rally are limping to Nairobi.
  • The Atherton/Henchoz Volvo reeks of petrol with a split rubber petrol pipe and broken Range Rover engine mounts. “…otherwise it’s a mint condition Volvo” says Richard.
  • David Spurling, Peugeot 504 arrived happy to be only 40 minutes late describing “130 km of tracks comprising a mix of goat tracks churned up by JCB and vile corrugations.”
  • Stuart Rhys-Williams and Colin McConnell, Nissan Patrol, used a tow rope to pull the BMW X5 of Robert Belcher and Stephen Cooper back onto four wheels after it fell on its side. The BMW is now on a truck.
  • The Tomas Prenosil, Lukas Kuttler Porsche 911 (964 C4) is also on a truck.
  • Jane Edgington and Gill Cotton were the first small car to reach Nairobi. They have a bonnet pin torn out by vibration. Jane said “it’s the only thing broken but it’s crying out for some service …I now know what hell looks like, truly dreadful road …it’s an amazing car, I just don’t know how it got here. There’s carnage out there.”
  • The remarkable catch-up drive of Ben and Mike Dawson’s Escort Mk2 continues. At 19:30 local they are just 260kms from Nairobi.
  • Alex Thistlethwayte and David Hiscox, who are running very close to the Dawson Escort, have tweeted that they spent last night camped on the roof of their Datsun 240Z believing that hyenas do not jump.
    Would still love to be on this rally – sounds absolutely epic. Found the pic below last night: could be my favourite of the rally so far. This is the 504 of original Race4Changer, Jean-Louis Juchault!

London to Cape Town Rally: Day 15 update

Posted on January 17, 2012 by John Glynn

Pics by Gerard Brown

Latest news updates from Africa are coming from the organisers – the rally boys are all off the phone message grids at the minute and the driving days are pretty long.

Hayden Burvill in the number 35 Porsche sent me a quick text on Friday by way of update, but this is the first chance I’ve had to blog it. Not heard much since, no doubt due to communication network availability. As soon as I get more news, I will let you know.

The Rally has been travelling through Sudan and Ethiopia, destination Kenya. Some competitors have encountered mechanical problems, and the organisers have reported an issue with the exhaust on the Caldwell/Burvill Porsche 912, but they dropped only three seconds on a long stage yesterday so it can’t be serious.

The 912 is currently 7th overall. The Van Cauwenberge 911 from the Tuthill Porsche stable is now up to 4th: yesterday, it finished a minute behind the modern 4wd Subaru that won yesterday’s stage. The 911′s position change came after a cracked sump for the BMW 5-series team.

The 964 C4 (third Porsche in the event) is in 26th position overall but is still running. This tough rally has quite a way to go yet. Here’s what Hayden said on Friday:

Here we are at the end of week 2 and the rally is already half over. We changed wheel bearings this afternoon when we got in. The inners were grumbling, which turned out to be rust from water invasion – probably from one of the two severe pressure washings in Italy or Greece after the wet muddy stages in week one.

AC washed the air filters tonight and we have had a good look round, after the night drive at high speed over car-launching pot holes may have taken a toll. Shades of Khazakstan on the P2P: there were some brutal potholes, some we launched off at 120 km/h were potentially pretty harmful. The light weight of the 912 paid off for sure in these conditions.

Tomorrow will be a grind, with an 0630 start time and 750 km of hard work. Apparently a nice hotel waits at Aswas (?) we will see.

London to Cape Town Rally: Saudi Arabia & Bad Timing

Posted on January 12, 2012 by John Glynn

Photos by John Bayliss from Car 37: Volvo 144

The organisers say Day 9 of the 2012 London to CapeTown was the most physically demanding day so far, after so many crews became stuck in the soft sand of the first desert section in Egypt. The ferry that night took them into Duba, to be met by the Saudi Arabia Motorsport Federation. Cars were parked and the crews clambered onto an American schoolbus convoy to ride a short distance for immigration formalities.

That process complete, the rally was set free on the coast road of Saudi Arabia: the first-ever international rally to cross Saudi. After the hectic Egyptian desert, no timing was done during the 307-mile trip, and the first crews had daylight at the finish to check their car over.

Day 11 would be a late-morning start: 213 miles to Jeddah, and the evening ferry that chugs back across the Red Sea to arrive mid-day at Suakin, in Sudan. Tougher days are ahead! (camel pic by Gerard Brown)

Hayden Burvill, navigator in Porsche number 35 is sending us regular reports. Here’s Hayden’s texts from yesterday:

Arriving in Saudi was a pleasant surprise after the trash-strewn landscape in Egypt. By comparison, the Saudi wealth is very much on display with highly developed infrastructure and good roads and far less roadside detritus.

We travelled across the Red Sea on a high speed car ferry catamaran built in Western Australia. We filled up with fuel, which was ridiculously cheap: 2 Cokes, a bag of crisps and a couple of bags of nuts cost more than 60 litres of 95 octane. The store at the gas station was provisioned with the same or more than you would get at a good interstate stop in the USA – massive choice of drinks, candy, biscuits etc. But for the Arabic labelling, you could have been in Nevada or Utah.

Our expectations of improving in the scoring has been defeated by some unfortunate leniency on the day 9 timing and scoring – a stark contrast to how timing was cast earlier in the event. Still plenty of time left, but it is hard to recover time on cancelled stages.

Later text:

Now waiting for the last ferry of the rally, Saudi to Sudan. The run today was uneventful, but for a miniature sand storm and a herd of camels.

The overnight stop in Yanbu was a long one with no early start. The locals were pretty light fingered, so the Porsche has lost the crest from the bonnet and a prized BRDC badge. Others lost tools and electronics to the bold and sexually confused teenage boys.

Jeddah is a large city with freeways and large container port. Our ferry to Sudan is an overnight crossing (dry Muslim ship) and we have 700km to cover once we arrive, so hopefully sleep comes easily on the ferry.

Day 12 is 714km with no competition, day 13 has no World Cup sections, but some tight time controls in a landscape and traffic conditions we can’t predict. All to look forward to in the next 48 hours, after a quiet and somewhat relaxing 48 hours preceding.

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