Lubricants rally to testing conditions

Shrewsbury-based Morris Lubricants is to provide specially formulated lubricants for next month’s East African Classic Safari Rally.

Morris Lubricants will assist three Group 4 RS 1800 Mark 2 Ford Escorts entered by Newtown-based Viking Motorsport. Participants will be covering 4,000 miles between Kenya and Tanzania meaning the cars’ engines will need to withstand searing heat of 40 degrees Celsius over long distances.

“It’s the roughest, toughest rally in the world,” said Viking Motorsport’s’ managing director Phil Mills who won the 2003 World Rally Championship. “We’re rallying in extreme conditions with 45-year old cars, which are specially prepared for the punishing surfaces.

“We’ve developed a good working relationship with the technical team at Morris Lubricants,” said Phil who will also have 20 staff, eight trucks and a helicopter to support the three cars out in Africa.

“We need a slightly heavier engine oil and slightly better gear and differential oils for this long distance rally. Morris Lubricants have come up with everything we needed and they have been faultless.

“When we strip the engines, gearboxes and transmissions, they’re like brand new, which shows how good the oils are. The company provides a high quality, dedicated service that you don’t get from larger oil companies.”

“We’re delighted to continue our relationship with Phil Mills and his team at Viking Motorsport, said Craig Bastable, Morris Lubricants’ marketing manager.

“It’s a real testament to the quality and performance of our products that they’re chosen by motorsport professionals to keep these classic cars running smoothly in such extreme conditions. We wish them success in the East African Classic Safari Rally.”

The rally takes place from 19th – 27th November – cars will be driven by Jorge Perez-Companc and co-driver José Volta from Argentina, Jan Hagman from Sweden and English co-driver Philip Clarke and John Lloyd and Adrian Cavenagh, an English/Kenyan pairing. Phil has set a target of the trio all finishing in the top 10, with at least one driver on the podium. Two years ago, his cars finished third and fifth.