Yorkshiremen claim first British victory in East Africa car rally

The 1974 Porsche Carrera which carried the Yorkshiremen to victory
The 1974 Porsche Carrera which carried the Yorkshiremen to victory

In the face of pouring rain and harsh conditions Yorkshire rally car drivers have claimed the first victory for Britain in the East African Safari Classic Rally.

Richard Jackson from Ferrensby joined teammate Ryan Champion from Castleford for the contest which began last month in Mombasa, Kenya, and stretched 4,000 kilometres across the country and neighbouring Tanzania.

Known as one of the toughest car rallies in the world it has meant all the more for the Yorkshiremen, in claiming overall winner, team and class champion titles.

Mr Jackson said: “It was incredibly tough, with some rough roads and heavy rainfall. Like rallies here in the forests of North Yorkshire there were gravel roads, but this was a lot rockier and conditions were bad.

“Towards the last stretch there was a mudhole that we managed to end up driving into. The thing must have been two and half feet deep and we were a quarter of the way through. It was a real challenge to keep on going.”

He added:“As for what got us through I’d say fast driving, a reliable car and not getting lost if I am honest. Although we did manage to get stuck in a river crossing but we managed to get a bit of help.”

Among his other teammates was former World Rally Champion and 2015 winner of the race, Stig Blomqvist.

Tearing across the countryside in a 1974 Porsche Carrera Mr Jackson’s car was emblazoned in the pink colours of Welcome to Yorkshire, and flew a Yorkshire flag as they travelled across the two countries.