NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – World Rally Championship (WRC) cars are synonymous with speed and more speed!
But during reconnaissance of ‘Kasarani Super Special Stage’ on the morning of June 24 (from 7.30am onwards), it will be a different story.
For the first time in the history of racing in Africa, a WRC car will be used to recce a stage on Safari Rally Kenya which is slated for June 24 to 27.
Deputy Clerk of the Course Nazir Yakub took time to expound more on the rare facet that will be another first for the fabled Safari.
“On the continent, I don’t think we have ever done this – reccing in rally cars. So, it’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to see what a WRC car looks like at slow speed!
“You actually see them racing by, but now you will see them driven at recce speeds!
“Drivers will take the notes at the Kasarani super special stage. So those are the notes that they will then use after the start at KICC when they come back to Kasarani to run the stage competitively.
“But in all other routes, recce will be conducted in normal recce cars, with normal specifications… single
“After reconnaissance, they will transfer down the same route where we will create a cash-wash with which the WRC cars will be cleaned of dust or mud or whatever they may be and then they will proceed to the KICC.”
World Rally teams this year are Germany based Hyundai Motorsport, Britain based M-Sport Ford and Toyota Gazoo Racing.
Hyundai has the likes of Ott Tanak of Estonia, Thirty Neuville (Belgium), Dani Sordo of Soain and Craig Green of Ireland.
M-Sport Ford has Gus Greensmith (GB), Teemu Suninen (Finland), Adrien Fourmaux (France) and Italian Lorenzo Bertelli.
Toyota Gazoo Racing is fielding the likes of Sebastien Ogier of France, Eldyn Evans, Kalle Rovanpera of Finland, Japanese Takamoto Katsuta,
In another development, WRC Safari Rally Stage Commanders, Deputy Stage Commanders and Stage Safety Officers engaged in a rare hands on excercise of setting up a make shift stage around the Kasarani stadium. The excercise involved being split up into 3 groups. One group dealt with the Start, another with the ‘stage’ and another at the finish of the stage.
The predicted outcome of this excercise (of which was achieved) was to engage all SC’s, DSC’s and SSO’s in a robust stage setup whilst considering all where signages and boards are to be placed, managing spectator areas, safety concerns, escape routes and the overall running and setting up of a successful stage.This is part of the week-long FIA training being conducted by the Motorsport UK at Kasarani and virtually by Dom Saunders.