NAIVASHA, Kenya, Apr 22 – A total of 33 cars have been cleared to start off in the ARC Equator Rally qualifying set for in Naivasha, event CEO Phineas Kimathi has confirmed.
The Equator Rally, which will be flagged off by the Cabinet Secretary of Sports Amina Mohamed, is a test run for the WRC Safari Rally Kenya to take place in June for the first time since 2002.
Speaking from the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute, Kimathi confirmed that Kenya will be represented by 20 drivers, eight Ugandans and one each from South Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Slovakia and United Kingdom.
“Africa as a continent and Kenya as a country lost the WRC status 19 years ago and today 62 days before the return of WRC, we are witnessing a major event in the name of the Equator Rally. The center at Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute we are hosting the Service Park, Media Center, scrutineering, Rally headquarters and other facilities like hospitality,” Kimathi, who is also the chairman of the Kenya National Rally Championship, said.
He added, “This is truly an international event that is taking place at very challenging time and this goes a long way to show that the government of Kenya through the ministry of sports, culture and heritage is capable of hosting an international event while observing COVID-19 protocols. Looking at the route, the drivers have just finished doing their recce, the route is both scenic and very challenging, the idea of Safari Rally is to live long the reputation of being the toughest rally in the world and that is how it is designed.”
Meanwhile, State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita is looking forward to having a good ride after a long-time layoff.
Waita, who will be navigated by Tuta Mionki will drive an EVO10 and both will be eager to make an impression on Kenyan soil ahead of the WRC Safari Rally.
“After the lockdown, we are kin to get out and about. We missed the Machakos Rally so this will be shaking the dust literary, we just want to finish because we are using this event as a training for the WRC Safari Rally,” Waita told Capital Sport.
His navigator Mionki said, “I hope to enjoy the rally, It has been a while since we were in a rally car.”
The Equator Rally which is the third leg of the 2021 Africa Rally Championships will be flagged off by the Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed.