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Organised by Rally the Globe and visiting Kenya and Tanzania, the action kicked off on 15 February, the 23 crews with 19 days and 2000 miles of competition ahead of them.
But it wasn’t until yesterday (5 March) in Kenya, on the rally’s final day, that the Ashworths stormed up from eighth place to grab both the lead and overall victory.
“To take this win means such a lot, because it’s our first-ever endurance rally win. And we did it because I’ve got the best navigator,” said a delighted Keith.
“A Bentley’s power to weight ratio is all power and lots of weight, and knowing how to control these two forces is what makes the difference.”
And as well as overall victory, the pair also took Vintageant class honours.
One-time rally leaders Lars and Annette Rolner from Denmark in their 1974 Porsche 911 were always in contention, but in the end had to settle for second, as well as topping the Classics category.
“There was much more rain than we’d expected, which in turn led to some terrible road conditions, but we suffered no real problems,” reported Lars.
“I’m happy to be here on the podium and not in the divorce courts.”
And completing that podium were another British crew, Clint and Dawn Smith in their ’67 Jaguar E-type.
A fantastic tribute to both the competitors and the assistance crews was the fact that all-but-one car saw the rally’s finish.
Meanwhile, the Against All Odds award went to Dieter and Hildegard Baumhäckel for keeping their 1961 Volvo PV544, plagued with suspension problems, in the rally.
Images: Gerard Brown/Rally the Globe