NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – The Kenya Motorsports Federation (KMSF) will have an audition at this year’s Safari Rally between March 17 and 19 as they hope to catch the attention of the world governing body FIA which is still weighing up the request for the race to return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) circuit in 2019.
Kenya already has one tick on its list with the annual race set to return to the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) list after a two year absence.
Already, KMSF has sent supplementary regulations to the FIA and they have been approved. The Safari Rally, an annual rally carnival in the country has not been in the WRC calendar since 2002.
In December last year, FIA president Jean Todt was in the country where he threw his support towards the Safari returning to the WRC calendar. The government has also offered financial support towards the realization of the dream.
This year’s safari will be graced by a record 25 foreign drivers. Zimbabwe will field five cars with the rest of the crew coming from Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda.
Jassy Singh and Sajib Khan will lead the Zimbabwean assault in a Subaru Impreza N14. Others are Muna Singh Junior/Zunald Singh (Subaru Impreza N14), Leroy Gomes/Urshilla Gomes (Subaru Impreza N14) and Kievan/Eric Smail Gomes (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10).
Christadis Fitidis of Uganda will be co driven by Rwandese Eric Nzamwita in a Mitsubishi Evo9. Veteran Ugandans Jas Mangat and Joseph Kamya have entered a Mitsubishi Evo 10
Kenya National Rally Championship log leader Manvir Baryan will hope to continue in his fantastic start to the season and as an extra edge towards the Safari, he has enlisted the services of British navigator Drew Sturrock in a Skoda Fabia.
Reigning national champion Tappio Laukannen will return to action to headline the Safari while Don Smith and Bob Kaugi who are enlisted in the ARC will drive a Subaru N14.
Onka Rai and Gareth Dawe will also drive a Skoda Fabia. His team mate Baldev Chager a former Safari champion will stick to his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10 while 2015 African Champion Jaspreet Chatthe will lead the field in another Mitsubishi Evo10.
Former National champion Carl Tundo will also be driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10.