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Geoff and orphaned elephantZimbabwean born Geoff Mayes will join the Silverspread Meru Rally Team for the forthcoming KCB Safari Rally. Mayes will be joined onboard his two wheel drive Toyota Levin by Scotsman Jamie Mactavish as the pair once again use this world famous event to raise awareness for “Hands off our Elephants”, the global social media campaign aimed at raising awareness about elephant poaching.

Mayes and Mactavish return to this former World Rally Championship event with unfinished business. After only taking delivery of their Toyota Levin a few days before the 2014 Safari the pair impressed with their performance and were lying second overall in the two wheel drive category when the propshaft failed. The car has been completely rebuilt and although plans to fit a supercharged engine have been abandoned Mayes is still confident that the improvements to their ageing Toyota will allow them to challenge for a good result. “There is no doubt that the more modern front wheel drive cars are quicker, but the Safari is an endurance event and we have been working on making our Toyota stronger and more reliable! It’s fantastic to have the support of Silverspread and the opportunity to go rallying in their home county will be an incredible experience for all of us!”

For this, the 63rd edition of this historic rally, the organizers have gone back to basics with a marathon style route and road side servicing. The rally begins with a ceremonial start at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in the middle of Nairobi on Easter Friday. After three stages around Nairobi the cars return to the KICC for an overnight rest halt. Saturday morning sees the crews head north past Mount Kenya, Kenya’s highest mountain. Five stages and a total of 430 kilometres lie in wait, including high speed sections through the Loldaigas and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy… two of Northern Kenya’s last great strongholds for elephants. Sunday sees the surviving crews tackle a further 320 kilometres before the ceremonial finish in Meru.

Geoff will once again be using the car to promote “Hands off our Elephants”, a cause very close to his heart. Elephants across Africa are suffering at the hands of poachers, with over 30 000 killed every year for their ivory. http://www.wildlifedirect.org has created a social media initiative called “Hands off our Elephants” to help raise awareness on a global level and apply pressure to the legal systems and governments of Africa to introduce harsher penalties and step up efforts to protect these magnificent creatures.

For more information on Geoff and Jamie’s efforts please follow their facebook page “Mayes to rally for elephants” or follow Geoff on twitter… @Geoff_Mayes

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