NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – Organisers of Sunday’s Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Micro Banking Rally have assured competitors and fans that safety will be their primary concern when the rally takes place in Thika.
Event Director Dave Macharia said on Tuesday that they will take in to account the safety standards of the competing vehicles during scrutineering on Saturday at Simba Union Club.
“The organizers have done their best to make the perfect notes for this event and drivers are given the chance to recee before the event,” said Macharia at the rally’s media briefing.
“Our mandate is to scrutinize the vehicles so that they conform with the rallying code,” he added.
Concerns over driver safety has been an issue following the tragic death of Ugandan rally ace Riyaz Kurji at last month’s KCB Pearl of Africa rally in Uganda.
Both drivers and navigators will wear black armbands throughout the duration of the rally to honour Kurji, 2009 Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) navigator champion Farakh Yusuf who also passed away last month and former legendary driver Harbhajan Singh Saimbi.
So far 36 drivers have confirmed their entry in the main vent of the rally while seven drivers will battle it out in the two wheel drive category.
Asad Anwar will be first off the ramp in a Mitsubishi EVO9 when the rally is flagged outside the KCB Thika branch at 8.30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
2009 Safari rally champion Carl Tundo will follow in second place with Asad’s elder brother Azar rolling off in third position.
Defending KNRC champion Baldev Chager will start in fifth place and will be navigated by Raju Sehmi.
It will be the first time in two decades that the rally will be held in and around the industrial town with new all weather roads and several river crossings expected to be challenging for the drivers.
“We have been looking for this particular route for the last seven months to give drivers new challenges away from the ones we are accustomed to like Athi River, Kajiado and Naivasha,” said Macharia.
“We have chosen to make the rally unique by adopting new all weather roads that are smooth and fast. All the stages happen to have similar conditions and this should test the concentration and power between the drivers and the navigators,” he added.
After the flag off, the competitors will head towards Gatundu area for the first competitive section. They will then head back to Thika Coffee Mills for a 12.30Km CS2 run of which a 1.3km stretch on this section is the designated spectators’ stage.
Crews will then have a feel of the Del Monte-Kirimi Farm stretch partially traversing through the private farm and onto open roads and onward to first service at Makuyu Golf Club situated just besides Thika-Sagana road.