Four-time Safari Rally winner and 1979 World Rally champion, Bjorn Waldegard, is optimistic of winning the East Africa Classic Rally in November.

Waldegard will drive a Ford Escort Mark 1 in the event and is currently in Africa for a final performance test-programme to fine tune the settings of his classic car.

No overseas competitor has won the two editions of the East African Classic Safari Rally since its inception in 2003, but the 63-year-old has made his intentions clear.

Waldegard finished seventh overall in the 2005 event when he teamed up with David Cavenagh in a Porsche 911 Carerra.

Quipping that age is nothing but a number, Waldegard could hardly conceal his love for ‘the world’s toughest rally.’

"I will be 64 when the Classic starts in November but I find this thing quite addictive and just don’t know when I will be out of it.

“The more you do it, the more it gets into your blood. But it’s the desire of every driver to win the Safari at any age because of the sentimental value that comes with it," Waldegard told the East African Standard.

Waldegard is looking forward to winning this year’s event in the same make he used in winning the Safari for the first time in 1977.

"It’s in a Ford that I became famous at the Safari and it will be great to give it another go,” he added.

“The initial test in March gave a good turn of speed. We tested the suspensions settings and engine performance and we were very satisfied. I believe that (David) Sutton has done a great job and we are optimistic of victory this time round.”

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