Rally legend Ian Duncan ready to battle muddy conditions after unveiling of ‘flying sausage’ 2.0

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 28 – Six-time Kenya National Rally Champion Ian Duncan expects a thrilling yet challenging experience when he competes at the 11th edition of the East Africa Safari Classic Rally on December 9-18 in the Coast region.

Duncan believes the El Nino rains currently pounding the region – and the rest of the country – will be a headache for the 63 drivers participating in the race but is regardless chomping at the bit to pit his wits against wet weather conditions.

“Let’s hope it dries up a little bit but somehow it is going to be muddy and tricky. I think the roads are going to be rough…it (rainwater) washes away the soil and the rocks come out. It is going to be hard but it should be fun,” Duncan said.

The rally legend said the ultimate target is to get across the finish point unscathed while holding out hope of finishing in the podium places – or emerging victorious all together.

“You have to get to the end without breaking down and driving as quickly as you can without having any major issues. It’s a rally, anything can happen. Some people crush on the first corner…so it is to avoid silly mistakes and do the best you can. Let’s hope we have a good rally,” he said.

Duncan added: “Yeah…there is always pressure. Soon as you start the long run, there is always pressure. You have your team, your sponsors and all your fans. You take it as it comes and just give your best.”

At the 10th edition of the annual race, Duncan – navigated by Anthony Nielsen – finished third behind winner, fellow Kenyan Baldev Chager, and Sweden’s Patrick Sandell.

Despite it being a classic rally, Duncan pointed out that many cars have undergone improvements over the years to overcome the weather and nature adversities that cause many of them to withdraw midway.

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“For sure, over the years the cars have improved. I mean they are old cars but they have new materials in them. The engines have improved so over the years the cars become better and better. Cars don’t break down anymore and the competition goes up so it should be really great,” he explained.

Flying sausage 2.0

Duncan was speaking on Tuesday afternoon at the Farmer’s Choice headquarters in Nairobi during the unveiling of a sponsorship by the company ahead of the East Africa Safari Classic Rally.

The rally legend described the sponsorship as a timely boost in lieu of the amount of resources required to build and maintain a rally car.

“I met two lovely ladies at the motorsports legends’ dinner and they remembered (Farmer’s Choice’s sponsorship of Duncan in 1994). We said we were looking for sponsors and help for this rally and Farmer’s Choice finally came on board. They’ve branded the car and it looks nice and well so now we just have to hope and do well,” he said.

The sponsorship is a rekindling of another one in 1994 on the way to attaining an outright victory in a World Rally Championships (WRC) round in his Toyota Celica Turbo – christened the ‘flying sausage.’

His triumph and the buzz it generated in the country afterwards inspired the introduction of Farmer’s Choice Safari brand of sausages featuring an image of Duncan’s car.

Commenting on the reincarnation of the flying sausage, managing director Jim Taylor said Duncan has always been a part of the Farmer’s Choice family for the past 30 years or so.

“Two things: in 1994, we sponsored Duncan and he won…I think he was the first Kenyan to win the WRC Rally. He did a magnificent job and we’ve followed him throughout his career for the last 30 years. He’s a friend of Farmer’s Choice; he’s very much a part of Farmer’s Choice as the Safari sausages have been named after him and when he asked for help…in the middle of last year…we said we would help,” he said.

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Taylor expressed confidence that Duncan will revive the spirit of 1994 by winning this year’s edition of the Classic Rally.

“Our target for him is to win the rally. We have assisted him in many ways…not just cash. We have assisted him with entry fees and getting the car on the road. Our target for Ian is to do as well as possible and hopefully, repeat the performance of 1994 and win the rally,” he said.

The rally will revv off at Vipingo Ridge on December 9 before terminating at the Leisure Golf Club, Diani on December 18, after a gruelling 4000km-drive.

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