Organisers reduce entry fee for drivers in KNRC category

Akif Virania i

Kenya’s Akif Virania in a Skoda Fabia heads for Scrutineering at the Naivasha Service Park on June 20, 2023. Kenyan rallying ace Carl Tundo will compete in this year’s Safari Rally driving a similar Skoda Fabia.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Entries close on June 15 according to  Supplementary Regulations
  • Event Secretary Shiri says local drivers eligible to also score points for the Kenyan championships

Organisers have  reduced entry fee for drivers who will compete in the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) category of the WRC Safari Rally from Sh50,000 to Sh25,000.

This is an incentive to have more drivers, who are facing financial challenges, entering the iconic rally slated for June 22-25 in Nairobi and Naivasha.

Drivers with cars that could not meet the stringent technical requirements to compete in the World Championship (WRC) Safari Rally have thus been thrown a lifeline by the organisers to have an opportunity of sharing the arena with world's top professionals, but in the KNRC class.

Entries are already open, and will close on June 15, according to the Supplementary Regulations guiding the KNRC Safari Rally category.

Secretary of Event Helen Shiri said on Wednesday local drivers are still eligible to compete in the national championship category of the Safari and score points counting towards the KNRC.

At least three drivers, McRae Kimathi, Hamza Anwar and Jeremiah Wahome will score WRC points as well as KNRC  points.

They are all driving the same make:  Ford Fiesta R3 third tier car.

Multiple Safari champion Carl Tundo (Skoda Fabia), reigning Kenyan champion Karan Patel (Ford Fiesta), Aakif Virani (Skoda Fabia) and Piero Cannobio (Hyundai i20) will also be eligible to score points in both categories.

Kenyans , especially those with superior machines like Tundo, will use this opportunity to gauge themselves against top-notch foreign drivers.

Tundo, Karan, Virani and Cannobio will wage their own battle in the Rally Two category, away from the main competition which pits the three works teams from Toyota, Ford and Hyundai.

The Rally Two class has brought together seasoned European professionals against a lean Kenyan team led by national champion Karan.

A Dakar Rally ace, European champion and first time Filipino to compete in the World Rally Championship (WRC) will be chasing honours in the 70th Safari Rally.

Karan and team are looking forward to matching the results of 2021 where Kenyans won all the top three WR2 positions via Onkar Rai, Patel and Carl Tundo.
Three-time European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz returns to Kenya to defend his WRC2 title.

Kajetanowicz made his WRC debut in 2018 in a Skoda Fabia. He finished second, showing speed and consistency, this time driving  a VW Golf Polo.

Oliver Solberg of Sweden returns in a Skoda Fabia evo, navigated by Elliot Andrew Edmondson of Britain.