What you need to know:
- He finished fourth in the WRC2 Class in the 2021 Safari Rally and also clinched the Division One Championship title in the 2021 Kenya National Rally Championship season.
- Virani, who will be navigated by Azhar Bhatti, will have a seven-member service crew in his team.
Kenya’s 2021 Motorsport Personality of the Year Aakif Virani is looking forward to tackling the 2023 WRC Safari Rally with high hopes.
“The Safari Rally makes rally what it is really like. It is great to be part of the history of the world-famous Safari Rally,” Virani told Nation Sport.
He added: “It’s great to have a memory with your name as one of the participants of one of the toughest events. It’s an honour to be part of one of the toughest events in the world and to be amongst the best drivers and machines in the world is something special.”
The 49-year-old driver will be at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia.
He finished fourth in the WRC2 Class in the 2021 Safari Rally and also clinched the Division One Championship title in the 2021 Kenya National Rally Championship season.
Virani, who will be navigated by Azhar Bhatti, will have a seven-member service crew in his team.
Despite the poor state of the economy, local Kenyan drivers are putting extra efforts to make sure they are among the competitors in next month’s round of the 2023 World Rally Championship series.
A 208-litre drum of Avgas fuel used by the rally cars costs around Sh64,000 with each litre of fuel lasting up to three kilometres in a competitive stage. Each rally car tyre costs around Sh27,000 while rims would cost on average Sh30,000 each.
Turbos cost Sh150,000 each.
Meanwhile, senior officials of the WRC Safari Rally have been picked.
They include Jim Kahumbura (rally manager), Gurvir Bhabra (Clerk of the Course) alongside Onkar Kalsi, George Mwangi and Nazir Yakub (Deputy Clerks of the Course).
Others are Darshak Patel and George Njoroge (Deputy Clerks of the Course), Anwar Sidi (Route Liaison and Media Safety Officer), Norris Ongalo (Chief Safety Officer) and Abbas Murbe (Deputy Safety Officer).
Hellen Shiri is Secretary of the Event while the Assistant to the Stewards will be Wambui Kiiru.
Other officials are: Chief Scrutineer: Musa Locho; Scrutineers: George Njuguna, Kevin Maumoh, Caroline Gatimu, Peter Gwarp; Chief Medical Officer: Prof. Raj Jutley; Deputy Chief Medical Officer: Dr. David Karuri; Rescue Chief: Suleiman Munyua; Chief Timekeeper: Darash Patel; Chief Security Officer: Commissioner Julius Kabiru; Security Liaison: Deven Jadeja; Competitors Relations Officers: Joan Nesbitt, Jenny Dance; Chief Controller: Harjit Sagoo; Service Park Manager: Joel Muchiri.