'Vasha' Notebook- Day 5

A rally fan smiles inside dust at Kedong stage in Naivasha

A rally fan smiles inside dust at Kedong stage in Naivasha during World Rally Championships Safari Rally on June 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The WRC Safari Rally has also made huge contribution to Kenya’s conservation efforts by channeling some of the rally income into wildlife conservancy


Safari Rally a truly Kenyan melting pot

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The Safari Rally is a sport of the people in which the rich, famous and ordinary Kenyans share the same platform to enjoy themselves as noted at the Kedong spectator stage which confirmed that Kenya is indeed a country of diversity. The well-to-do had their own hospitality tents, the carefree roamed around sipping all sorts of liquids. But the maize sellers did roaring business, selling either boiled or roast maize which went faster than anything else. At another corner some entrepreneurs were selling mutura and low end liquor. After all, man cannot feed on an empty stomach...

Mechanics hard at work at Service Park

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A modern rally car is made of composite material and the body work is made of prefabricated panels. The entire front is removed at every service point for ease of undertaking repairs. These panels are made of composite light material thereby rendering a panel beater in Kirinyaga road irrelevant. But the mechanics are work horses, working harder than ‘koroga’ warriors in construction sites during the making of the slubs.

They don’t talk to one another and are flawless in their operations, each assigned to a particular task. Every car also has its own body shell cleaners.

Rally funds to help nature conservation

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Wild animals got excited, or agitated, with the high influx of human beings who invaded their natural habitat. In the confusion, they literally raced along the rally route at Kedong before they got back to their senses and disappeared into the bush. Animals fear human beings and light. That is why the Hyundai team has fixed blinking headlights to scare them away. Add the low flying WRC TV filming helicopter, and the animals have learnt to respect the cars.

The WRC Safari Rally has also made huge contribution to Kenya’s conservation efforts by channeling some of the rally income into wildlife conservancy.

WRC TV technology

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Ever wondered how the WRC TV is collecting all the information on the Safari Rally? Well, besides being a high speed car, the rally car is an electronic station in motion. Each car is fitted with cameras on the sides, onboard and the top. It also has a transmitter which sends images to the receiver on the helicopter which, in turn, are beamed to another machine at the WRC TV room at the Service Park.

The signal is then beamed to their London office for editing and distribution to clients in about 150 countries across the globe in real time.

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