44 crews will race for glory at Safari Rally

Karan Patel

The Ford Fiesta of race winner Karan Patel, navigated by Tauseef Khan, cruise through the Kedong stage during the final day action of the ARC Equator Rally on April 3, 2022.

Photo credit: Anwar Sidi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • National championship leader Karan Patel will be competing in the WRC proper in a Ford Fiesta Rally 2 navigated by Tauseef Khan. Karan will be hoping for a top 10 finish just like last year when he finished eighth driving a similar car.
  • Cars will head to the Moi International Sports Centre ground for a super special stage before the rally proper raced in bowels of the Rift Valley.

A total of 44 drivers have confirmed participation in the 2022 WRC Safari Rally that starts on Thursday next week outside the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi.

Ugandan Duncan Mobiru and Musa Nsubuga are the only East Africans apart from Kenyans to compete in a Ford Fiesta N4.

Lisa Christopffersen and Pauline Shegu are the latest all-ladies crew to enter the four-day Safari Rally in a Subaru Impreza.

The iconic rally has attracted 27 foreigners who will compete in the World Rally Championship category.

Burundian stars Giancarlo Davite and Sylvia Vindegovel have been entered in the national championship category.

Last year's Kenya and Africa champion Carl Tundo leads the 17 drivers in the national championship category driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10.

National championship leader Karan Patel will be competing in the WRC proper in a Ford Fiesta Rally 2 navigated by Tauseef Khan. Karan will be hoping for a top 10 finish just like last year when he finished eighth driving a similar car.

Cars will head to the Moi International Sports Centre ground for a super special stage before the rally proper raced in bowels of the Rift Valley.

Meanwhile, wrc.com reports that M-Sport Ford drivers Craig Breen and Pierre-Louis Loubet have offered their support to team-mate Adrien Fourmaux after his tough start to the season.

Fourmaux’s Rally Italia Sardegna retirement marked his fourth non-finish in five WRC rallies this season -- with three DNFs being due to crashes.

The Frenchman had been driving within his limits and was on course for a top-five finish on the Mediterranean event before his hybrid-powered Puma left the road on the final stage of the penultimate day.

Breen and Loubet, on the other hand, enjoyed strong results, finishing second and fourth respectively.

“It’s difficult for me to comment, obviously,” Breen told wrc.com . “But of course I feel sorry for Adrien -- I feel sorry for him and Alex (Coria, co-driver). It’s not a nice position to be in.

“I know from working that he is trying to do his best -- he’s trying everything that he can. I’ve seen it myself when I’ve had some difficult times -- social media lights up.

“People have no idea of the pressure that we are under. We’re trying to perform at this level and mistakes can happen so easily, especially on a rally like this. He will come back,” he added.

Loubet knows exactly what Fourmaux is going through. Between 2020 and 2021, he scored points on just two out of 11 rallies in a Hyundai i20 World Rally Car.

“I am very sorry for him,” he confirmed. “I know how hard he is working and I think it’s a difficult moment for him, but there is not much we can say.

 “It’s a difficult situation and I hope he can get through this.”

Fourmaux will join Breen, Gus Greensmith and Sébastien Loeb at next week’s Safari Rally Kenya (23 - 26 June), where he’ll be hoping for a change in fortune.

Additional reporting by wrc.com

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