Other people say he has an unrivalled collection of Porsche 911 handbrake cables, which he keeps in a mother of pearl jewellery box. All we know is that he’s called the Stig: and he’s currently leading the Safari Rally.
After the opening day of action in Kenya it’s Stig Blomqvist on top in his Tuthill Porsche 911, just over a minute ahead of local ace Ian Duncan in a Ford Capri.
“It’s been a good set of stages for us and we’ve had no problems today,” said 67-year-old Blomqvist. “We found a good rhythm, and the car set-up is good but it is very hot in the car… But this is the Safari, the heat will not be our only problem. This is a very long rally and anything can happen - I’ve not had much luck in Africa over the years.”
Bjorn Waldegard – the previous Safari winner – is third in another Tuthill 911, and as such had the unenviable task of being first to encounter the local wildlife through the Savannah.
“They weren’t wild animals, so nothing too exciting – just lots of goats and cows but that’s one of the disadvantages of driving first on the roads, there’s a lot of traffic,” added Waldegard.
Steve Perez, co-driven by M-Sport’s legendary co-ordinator John Millington, ended the day safely in 10th with his Datsun 260Z: in marked contrast to the start of the Safari Rally a few years ago, when he nearly crashed into an elephant on the second stage.
Today’s action consisted of three stages west of Mombasa, with three more stages scheduled tomorrow close to the famed Kilimanjaro national park.