Drivers call for help ahead of WRC Safari Rally
What you need to know:
- Eleven local drivers have submitted their entries that includes major international manufacturers teams.
- Thirty-four cars have so far entered the rally set to be held in Nairobi and Naivasha from June 22.
Despite the tough economic times that Kenyans are enduring, struggling local rally drivers are looking forward to compete in the upcoming WRC Safari Rally.
Eleven local drivers have submitted their entries that includes major international manufacturers teams.
Thirty-four cars have so far entered the rally set to be held in Nairobi and Naivasha from June 22.
The Chana brothers, fresh from winning their first ever rally in Nakuru last week, are preparing for the Safari Rally with great enthusiasm.
“The Safari Rally is our culture and without it, we feel there is something missing in our lives. We are extremely happy it is back in Kenya,” Jasmeet told Nation Sport.
One can participate in the Safari Rally under different classes depending on the budget and choice of rally cars.
Jasmeet will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer EvoX that cannot qualify for the overall Safari Rally points, but will score points for the Kenya National Rally Championship which is his main goal.
The 45-year-old driver’s best Safari Rally score is an eighth-place finish in 2021.
Despite struggling to find a suitable sponsor, Jasmeet is supported by a team of eight members of the Service Crews.
“I hope we can secure a sponsor for the Safari Rally. We would appreciate any corporate or private company to support us. Spare parts are really expensive but we love the sport,” said Chana.
According to Chana, Avgas costs Sh64,000 for a drum of 200 litres. Each tyre is around Sh27,000 for Dunlop, while Pirelli tyres would cost Sh34,000 each.
Chana says rims vary from different manufacturers but would cost between Sh25,000 to Sh30,000 each.
“Suspensions are the most expensive shocks for an EvoX. It would cost around Sh1.5 million to Sh1.6 million for a set of four. A gearbox of the dog-box type would cost around Sh1.2 million.Turbos cost between Sh140,000 to Sh150,000,” explained Jasmeet.
The team spent around Sh450,000 to cover all costs in the Nakuru Rally.
The total distance of the WRC Safari Rally will be 1192.4km of which the Competitive Stage distance will be 356.98km.
The Safari Rally drivers will compete on gravel.
The rally will kick off with Shakedown at the Kenya Wildlife Services in Naivasha before the event is officially flagged off from the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi on June 22.