NAIROBI, Kenya, June 5 – Foreign competitors are in town well in time for the 64th KCB Safari Rally to be flagged off on Friday at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conference Center.
The ‘Flying Finn’ Tapio Kaukkanen and Canada based Moez Malik were among the foreign drivers who recced the route alongside locals at the weekend.
Toronto based Moez lived and competed in Kenya in the 80s and 90s before migrating to Canada.
Tapio, a former Finland and British rally champion has been competing in Kenya since 2012 and tackled the last two seasons of KNRC sweeping the grounds with all his opponents whenever he had a clean run.
The Flying Finn has literally swept the ground with all and sundry this season but lost his lead on the KNRC log after suffering double punctures on the initial and repeat run of Kobonyo stage in Kisumu.
Tapio who has also mentored several locals led the Safari last year in Mount Kenya region by a massive 5 minutes on penultimate day only to bow out when his service crew failed to reach the remote service in the required time.
Tapio will be navigated by compatriot Passi Torma in a Subaru Imprrza GVB 13 which is an R4 car.
Other drivers using R4 contraptions are Isaa Amwari (EVOX), Kabras Sugar Racing team of Baldev Chager, Onkar Rai and Tejveer Rai all in EVOX, and Team Kibos ace Jassi Chatthe also in a similar make.
This year’s Safari will see quite a number of drivers making a comeback. These are Quentin Mitchell and Kioni brothers David and Mwangi.
Quentin was all smiles after reconnaissance.
“We are going to approach it like any other rally. We will take it as it comes and try to enjoy it as much as we can as it’s our first rally back this year and we have been out the car for 7months.”
“The Safari is always a highlight owing to several days of competition and the reputation the safari carries with it,” said Quentin.
Kioni brothers who are sons of Kenya Volleyball Federation Chairman Waithaka Kioni will pilot their Group S Subaru Impeza GC8 when the iconic event traverses private farm stages in Nairobi and Nakuru counties from Friday to Sunday.
The last time Kionis sat together was during the 62nd edition of the Safari Rally in 2014.
“It’s fantastic to be back in the GC8 and to sit with my brother again after two years,” said David.
David, who last competed in 2015 with James Mwangi Harrison hopes to shake off some cobwebs on his GC8.
David and Mwangi made their KNRC debut in Eldotet 2010 and have since competed in several KNRC events with other teams. Mwangi did the whole season with Kalulu last year and finished 2nd on the KNRC Division Two log.
“Our first rally in Eldoret is nevertheless something we would want to forget in a hurry as we kissed the Western Kenya Motor Club- organised rally upon crashing into a swamp. I am a bit rusty at the moment after skipping quite a number of rallies, but we just want to bring the GC8 back in one piece at KICC,” David Said.
“We are hoping to have a steady run and remain consistent and just finish. I have been really itching to get back in the rally car. But due to lack of sponsorship we have been forced out of KNRC events so we are glad to take part in this Rally thanks to my family and friends and I am looking forward to having some great fun.”
KCB SAFARI RALLY 2016-SEEDED ENTRY LIST
- Jaspreet Chatthe/ Gurdeep Panesar -Mitsubishi Evo10
- Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch -Mitsubishi Evo 10
- Carl Tundo /Tim Jessop -Mitsubishi Evo 10
- Rajbir Rai /Greg Stead- Ford Fiesta
- Quentin Mitchell /Steven Cook –Skoda Fabia
- Tapio Laukkanen /Pasi Torma –Subaru Impreeza
- Baldev Chager /Ravi Soni -Mitsubishi Evol 10
- Karan Patel /Tauseef Khan- Mitsubishi Evol 10
- Onkar Rai /Gareth Dawe -Mitsubishi Evo 10
- Tejveer Rai /Zahir Shah -Mitsubishi Evo 10
11.Pietro Cannobio /Silvia Frigo- Mitsubishi Evo 10
- 18. Izhar Mirza /Kavit Dave -Mitsubishi Evo 9
- Jasmeet Chana /Ravinder Chana -Mitsubishi Evo 9
- Farhaaz Khan /Keith Henrie -Mitsubishi Evo 9
- Imran Mogul /Adnan Din -Subaru N12
- Jansher Sandhu /Feisal Khan- Mitsubishi Evo 9
- Issa Amwari /Edward Njoroge -Mitsubishi Evo 10
- Stephen Mwangi/ Jonathan Kosgei –Subaru Impreza
- Asad Khan /Harshil Limbani –Subaru Impreza GC8
- Mahesh Halai /Ketan Halai –Subaru Impreza N12
21.John Ng’ang’a /Anthony Njenga – Subaru Impreza N12
22.Eric Bengi /Tuta Mionki –Toyota Runx
- Jonathan Somen /Richard Hechle –Ford Escort
- Eric Njogu /Tony Kimondo –Subaru Impreza N10
- Adil Mirza /Kashif Shaikh –Mitsubishi Evo9
- Chandrakant Devji /Julius Mwachuya – Subaru Impreza GC8
- Rehan Shah /George Kiama –Mitsubishi Evo9
- Sammy Nyorri /James Mwangi –Totota Runx
- Leonardo Varese /Kigondu Kareithi –Toyota Corolla
- Ramesh Vishram /Riyaz Ismail –Ford Escort
- Natasha Tundo /Chantal Young-Subaru Impreza
- Alex Lairang’i /Anthony Gichohi –Toyota Corolla
- Andrew Muchemi /Kimaru Boit –Mitsubishi Evo8
- Edward Maina /Steve Mbuthia –Subaru IMpreza GC8
- David Kioni /Mwangi Kioni –Subaru Impreza
- McRae Kimathi /Stephen Njenga – Subaru Impreza GC8
- Osman Abdullahi /Evans Mwenda – Subaru Impreza N10
- Josiah Kariuki /John Ngugi – Subaru Impreza N11
- Nikhil Sachania /Salim Khan –Fiat Abarth
- Geoff Mayes /Jamie Mactavish –Range Rover
- Moez Malik /Absolom Aswani –Mitsubishi Evo6
42. Sam Karangatha /Edward Ndukui –Subaru Leo