What you need to know:
- They drove in their numbers into the spectator stage despite the first rally car zooming past the wet grounds some few minutes past 4:30pm.
At the Sleeping Warrior spectator stage of the WRC Safari Rally, it was no-longer a sleepy affair as with the swelling number of spectators reinvigorating the domiciled rally route.
They drove in their numbers into the spectator stage despite the first rally car zooming past the wet grounds some few minutes past 4:30pm.
The parking yard resembled a motor car bazaar with high end vehicles, old ramshackles given a new coat of paint and the latest car model all on display.
Perched at the hilly part were rally fans eager to get a worm’s eyeview of the proceedings, as the skidding drivers, in the usual swashbuckling manoeuvres, electrified them.
The blue WRC TV hovering in the skies kept tabs with the speeding vehicles, with adoring fans shouting their voices hoarse, loving every moment of the showbiz displayed by the speedsters.
“I have never watched a spectacle like this, it is my first time, but I am honestly thrilled. Bringing back the motorsport to Kenya was a master-stroke by the Jubilee administration,” said a first time rally attender, Joan Wairimu.
A sport associated with the affluent, it was on show as the “Subaru boys” in tow with their beauties made merry, imbibing their favourite drinks, some with undue care to the happenings in the vicinity.
“We came here to make merry. Motorsport is a game for the happy-go-lucky lot. We are here to represent them,” said a rally spectator, with a chuckle.
Some danced to the latest music, with boomeranging lyrics emanating from their vehicles fitted with woofers.
Some sat on the roof of their vehicles also sipping their drinks.
Those with the notion that Kenyans are not patriotic were proved wrong here.
Some of the rally fans waived miniature flags, some fixed then in their cars, displaying their undying love for the country.
Judith Nyambura, who sells the miniature Kenyan flags, was present, dashing from one vehicle to another selling her wares.
The Nairobi-based trader’s sojourn began at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre where the flagging off by the President Uhuru Kenyatta took place on Thursday.
“The business was not good in Nairobi, but buoyed by last year’s sales, I did not give up. My next stop on Friday was Naivasha town before I travelled to Sleeping Warrior just to look for clients,” she revealed.
Unlike the previous edition, Nyambura admitted that the majority of the Kenyans had lost their purchasing power.
“In the last event, I sold a similar flag for Sh500 today, I’m selling at Sh200 and there are still bargaining,” she said.
The fare to Nairobi to Naivasha, Nyambura added, had increased further eating into her profits, but she has to stay afloat.
“I have a young family to feed and this is the only realistic chance to make money.
“It is the only event of its kind in the country… truth be told,” said the hawker before rushing back to sell her wares. With several entertainment joints having been set up on the Moi South Lake Road, Naivasha police spent the whole night on Friday controlling the building up traffic.
“I have not slept. Together with my colleagues, we spent the whole night easing traffic. It is our work and we have no choice,” said an officer tasked with the night duties.
Naivasha sub-county police commander Samuel Waweru assured those attending the rally that the issue of traffic congestion had been addressed.
“What we experienced last year was an eye opener and we cannot allow such scenes to reoccur. We are fully prepared,” said the police boss.
With the climax of the rally being today more people are expected to throng the lakeside town and enjoy the rallying moment by the international and local drivers.