After a welcome day of rest, Steve Perez was back in action on the 2009 Kenya Airways East African Safari Rally and despite a few problems on day seven, is still holding onto third place overall - but it's getting close.
The first drama of the day involved the historic-specification Datsun 260Z failing to start in parc ferme so Perez and co-driver Staffan Parmander needed the assistance of the organisers to get the car going.
However, the problem returned on the way to the first stage, which necessitated fellow competitor Geoff Bell pushing the car with his to eventually bump start it so the road could be cleared!
When on the stage, the trip meter then stopped working and the resulting detour and delay cost the crew around ten minutes which saw both Bell and Gerard Marcy close in on the Chesterfield driver but he held on despite another scare with the wildlife on the final stage to reach the halt at Lake Naivasha near Nairobi with his third place intact.
"It's been another difficult day that didn't start off too well but we're still here in third place and that's what counts,” he said. “Thanks to Geoff, he helped bump start the car so I hope I've not fallen foul of the rulebook but we had no other choice! Then the trip meter stopped and that's one of the most important pieces of equipment in the car on an event like this which cost us a lot of time and now we're looking behind us as both Geoff and Gerard are closing in.”
Perez also revealed his latest incident with the African wildlife.
"We were doing around 100mph when all of a sudden this giraffe appeared over a crest,” he said. “I had to think in an instant what to do and we had no time to swerve to avoid it so I planned to go under it and between its legs but luckily, it ran out of the way just in time! Where else in the world would you get that apart from on this fantastic rally? It's simply brilliant and if ever anyone gets the chance, you should do it. In my opinion, it's the best rally in the world!"
With just three days remaining, day eight sees the crew leave the Naivasha Sopa Lodge for the most northerly loop of the event around Lake Baringo before heading back south for another night halt at Lake Naivasha.