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The Rally Queens, Samira Khan and Chantal Young, posted their first ever rallying retirement when the pair, who compete in a Classic Ford Escort Mk1 in the Kenyan National Rally Championship, dropped out of a podium position on the recent Nanyuki Rally with alternator problems.

Samira and Chantal, one of very few all ladies crews competing in this highly competitive championship, headed to Nanyuki, the scene of round six of the 2012 championship, with a 100% finish rate and a string of podium finishes under their belts. The rally, always anticipated to be a tricky event, was made all the more difficult when heavy rain on Friday turned the stages into an ice rink. Although the rear wheel drive Ford Escort struggled in the tricky conditions Samira ended the opening day third in the Classic Car class.

Day 2 would be all the more difficult as the roads, churned up by the cars ahead, would see the ladies get stuck in stage five for over half an hour. With the bit between their teeth Samira and Chantal headed to the next stage eager to make up time but the alternator developed a fault and the battery had drained by the start of the sixth stage, which meant the Escort refused to re-start.

Samira was philosophical about this, her first ever retirement; I’ve been rallying for almost a year now and the Escort has done me proud for eight long and difficult events, including the nine day long Classic Safari at the end of 2011. Such a long streak of rally finishes is testimony to the mechanics that have worked on my car and so, although we have failed to finish this rally, I’m confident that once we’ve replaced the old alternator with a fresh one, our impeccable reliability will be back!

Despite this setback Samira and Chantal still maintain second overall in the Classic Car Cup for cars built prior to 1976. For more information on Samira please visit http://www.samirakhan.net or join her facebook group – Samira Khan Rallying.

Photos courtesy Mayes Media

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