Kenya’s Locho plays key role in rally competitions

Chief scrutiniser Musa Locho inspects one of the rally cars

Chief scrutiniser Musa Locho inspects one of the rally cars during scrutineering at the Galleria in Nairobi on March 17, 2017. Locho will be the official FIA Technical Delegate for the Safari Rally.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • It is basically a full speed test where drivers have an opportunity to feel the surface and the character of the rally.
  • The competing drivers then have a chance to adjust the cars for maximum performance according to current situations.

Subarus took the first two positions at last weekend’s KCB Gitega Rally in Burundi with local driver Fahd Masoud, navigated by compatriot Mohammed Yunus, bagging the overall title.

Their Subaru Impreza N12 finished with a cumulative time of one hour, 39 minutes and eight seconds, some five minutes and 21 seconds ahead of second-placed pair of compatriots Aimable Uwamahoro and Dias Maceri in a Subaru Impreza N11.

Philbert Faida and Guy Malherb Isishatse, also from Burundi, were third in a Mitsubishi Evo 7, seven minutes and 24 seconds behind the winner.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Musa Locho continued to play a major role in the African rally competitions as a senior official of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and was on duty at the KCB Gitega Rally.

Pioneering Locho was in Burundi to see how the organisers staged their event as they bid to be considered as a round of the African Rally Championship.

Also in Burundi was WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Hellen Shiri who is also a member of the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission.

"We are assisting in trying to bring the host nation in line with the FIA regulations,’’ Locho told Nation Sport.

"This involves areas of human resource, training of the local scrutineers and also assisting the hosts bring their cars to acceptable standards besides making the local drivers conform and align with FIA requirements as far as the driver safety equipment and its proper use is adhered to regulations.

"I also encourage and guide them on how to prepare their cars adequately to meet the rigid safety standards expected," Locho explained.

Locho was also in Tanzania recently after his official duties in the 2022 WRC Safari Rally on similar FIA duties.

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The Kenyan crew of McRae Kimathi and Mwangi Kioni will feature in the FIA WRC Greece Rally from September 9.

This will be the last round of their assault on the FIA Junior World Rally Championship.

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Nanyuki is preparing to host the next round of KBL-sponsored Kenya National Rally Championship next month.

The rally will be held on September 10 and 11 and will be followed by the Mombasa Motor Club competition on October 15 and 16, Rallye Sports Club (November 5-6) and lastly Sikh Union Club (November 26-27).

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Leroy Gomes and his wife, Urshilla are assured of winning the 2022 African Rally Championship title as long as they finish in the top three in the remaining two rounds of the series.

The Zambians have so far won the Bandama and Uganda rallies, finishing second in the Tanzania and Equator rallies.

The penultimate round of the 2022 ARC series will be held in Rwanda on September 24 and 25 followed by the Zambia round on October 22-23.

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Did you know that….

Rally competitions start with what is called a "Shakedown."

It is basically a full speed test where drivers have an opportunity to feel the surface and the character of the rally.

The competing drivers then have a chance to adjust the cars for maximum performance according to current situations.

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