NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – All spanners are out and teams are rushing to get their cars ready for the WRC Safari Rally that will be returning to the country for the first time in 19 years.
The Rally will run from June 24-27 around the scenic Great Rift Valley in Naivasha.
A spot check by the Capital Sports shows that all the drivers have completely dismantled their cars and on are course to re-assemble the vehicles after stringent checks and balances to ensure that the vehicles are put back together in line with the FIA regulations ahead of the WRC Safari Rally.
A visit to the various garages around industrial area and different parts of the city showed the Wild Cat Racing Toyota Etios R5 driven by Guy Botereil had been taken apart and was set for a few upgrades.
Botereil said that he was leaving the car in Kenya until the WRC Safari Rally in June.
“I would like to change the engine and gearbox and come with more spares ahead of the Rally,” he said.
Botereil added that rallying in Kenya was very different from what they have in South Africa as the Kenyan roads are rough, rocky, muddy and dusty at the same time.
After a small mishap that saw him veer of the road and into a ditch Hussein Malik who was being navigated by Linet Ayuko has stripped the car. Malik said he intends to replace the damaged panels, doors and windscreen as well as do some last-minute checks on the vehicle to ensure that it is set and ready to for the WRC Safari Rally.
Nzioka Waita navigated by Tuta Mionki and their team have been extremely busy over the last few weeks as they too, have stripped off the vehicle with a plan to rebuild, respray and brand their vehicle ahead the Rally.
The team driving the Mitsubishi Evo 10 R4 that is currently ranked 9th on the ARC standings, Nzioka said that they will be putting their “best wheels” forward as they head into the WRC Safari Rally.
Hamza Anwar, son of veteran rally Driver Asad Anwar and the nephew of Kenyan Rally Great Azar Anwar had a beautiful rally.
He had a clean Rally with no accidents or incidents albeit for a few cosmetic scratches after he skidded into the bush on a muddy section in day two of the Rally action in the Sleeping Warrior Stage.
Speaking to Capital Sports Hamza Anwar said that his father told him “This rally is a marathon and not a sprint,”and that he needed to drive carefully to ensure that he brought the car back home.
Hamza finished in 4th position overall during the recently completed ARC Equator Rally in Naivasha.
All vehicles that intend to participate in the WRC Safari Rally will have to undergo stringent homologation based on the rally classes. Teams are rushing to get the cars ready and test them leaving them with enough time to fix any gremlins that might come up ahead of the WRC Safari Rally.