Thursday, March 15, 2018. It is all systems go for the 66th ARC Safari Rally outside the Kenyatta International Convention Centre when 36 drivers from five countries for a three day battle between man and machine in what might turn out to be the wettest Safari since 1990 WRC edition.
Former Africa champion Jaspreet Chatthe navigated by James Morgan in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X will start the 500km Safari that at best can be described as a lottery if the current heavy rains persist. Competition aside, this will be the most observed event this year in the entire Africa championship as well as most secured.
Event Director Jim Kahumbura announced the deployment of 300 security officers drawn from the dreaded GSU, regular police and NYS morning in a show of might as a sneak preview to the observers from the International Motorsport Federation (FIA), continental body and the WRC Promoter, the commercial and media rights holder of the World Rally Championship (WRC).
The battle of supremacy will water down to Chatthe, former Safari champion Baldev Charger and Carl Tundo in similar makes. On the other are the two Skoda Fabia of national championship leader Onkar Rai and reigning Africa champion Manvir Baryan.
Clerk-of-Course Gurvi Bhabra was still opptimistic the weather will not change for the worse despite continued rains has said..
Ugandans Jas Mangat and Duncan Mubiru; Irish new comer Matt Shinnors and Tanzanians Huwel Ahmed and Randeep Singh are the only foreigners lined up for the March 16 to 18 Safari which will be 500km long with action being around Naivasha and Gilgil areas.
Baryan will be navigated by Briton Drew Sturrock in a Skoda Fabia, a second tier racing machine after the top-of the-range World Rally Championship (WRC) cars. He has brought in expert mechanics from Estonia tio service the car.
Rai and Dawe Gareth in the other Fabia has also too brought in expetriate mechanics
Tanzanian Haria Shah will co-drive Sarit Shah of Kenya in a Toyota Corolla. Mangat will be navigated by Joseph Kamya in a Mitsubishi Evo X with Shinnors teaming up with his wife Catherine in a locally procured Ford MK2.
Huwel joins Kenyan Lawrence Gavin in a Ford Proto while Randeep and Gurvinder Singh have entered a Mitsubishi Lancer.
But ace Ian Duncan who will be missing in action for the first time in as many years due to lack of commercial sponsorship.
For more Information
For further Information contact
PR and Media Department, Safari Rally Project
Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Block 8/9