Organisers of the East African Safari Classic rally have said the competition would continue in honour of its chairman Jaideep Singh Vohra, who died when his vehicle overturned near Amboseli Lodge while enroute to watch the cars.
“With deep regret we announce the passing of Jaideep Singh Vohra in a road accident today. We believe that he would want the East African Safari Classic Rally to continue as we organisers believe the event should continue in his memory. Our condolence go to his family and friends,” the organisers said in a statement.
The rally was in its second leg after being flagged off in Mombasa by Governor Ali Hassan Joho on Thursday.
Another rally director, Raju Kishnani was also involved in the accident, though his injuries were said to be slightly less than Vohra’s. Kishnani was flown by helicopter to the Nairobi Hospital for further treatment, the Nation reports.
Incidentally, there was another accident in the competition involving the rally car of Steffano Rocca and his navigator Pier Daykins.
”It is very unfortunate but we are out of the rally. We should have been seeded higher up the start order instead struggling behind slower cars. We came over a brow and suddenly found we were not control of the car. The car is destroyed and won’t be in position to be repaired. Thank God me and my navigator Daykins are very fine and with no injuries at all. We are lucky. That is the end of our Classic Rally,” said Steffano.
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, who flagged off the competition, described the late Vohra as a “great motorsport enthusiast and an esteemed hotelier.”
“It is with profound shock & sadness that we receive the news of the demise of Mr. Jaideep Singh Vohra in a tragic road accident while following the proceedings of the East African Safari Classic Rally. The late Mr. Vohra was a great Motorsport enthusiast and an esteemed hotelier,” he tweeted.
Before the second leg of the 2017 competition was stopped, Sweden’s Stiq Blomqvist was still in the lead.