What you need to know:
- Ron Smith is an established Autocross driver having clinched the Under 1600 Class Championship.
- The Safari Rally was his first ever rally event. His father, Don Smith, is a well-known former rally driver who is also a former African Rally Championship winner. His navigator, Laban Cliff, is a student of the Abdul Sidi Rally Advisor.
The KCB Nanyuki Rally will start at 9am on Saturday at the rally’s Greystones Ranch headquarters.
Spectators will not be allowed at the stages in line with the Ministry of Health protocols to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The event will have three competitive stages that will be done twice. The total distance of the rally will be 216 kilometres, of which the competitive section will be 156kms and the liaison will be 60kms. The longest stage at Ole Naishu will be 41.51kms, while the shortest at Greystones will be 7.86kms.
Greystone Ranch will also host the Power Stage. Power Stage (PS) is a special stage that usually runs as the final stage of a rally in the Kenya National Rally Championship.
Unlike the normal special stage, which is timed to the tenth of a second, the timing of the Power Stage is to the thousandth of a second.
After last weekend’s Zambia Rally, Kenya’s Carl “Flash” Tundo and his navigator Tim Jessop have now scored a maximum of 90 points from the last three rounds of the current African Rally Championship Series.
The championship still remains wide open with 60 points to score from the remaining two rounds, while the difference between the first driver (Tundo) and the second, South African Guy Botteril , is only 17 points.
There were two other Kenyans who were involved in the organisation of the Zambia ARC event. George Mwangi was the chairman of stewards while Musa Locho was the senior FIA technical official.
Tundo’s aim is to win the ARC title for the first time in his rallying career. He has already won the Safari Rally fives, the East African Safari Classic Rally once and clinched the Kenya National Rally Championship title five times.
Manvir Baryan was the last Kenyan driver to win the ARC title thrice. He bagged his last continental trophy in 2019 before the ARC series was put on hold due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
The ARC is an International Rally Championship run under the umbrella of the Federation of International Automobile (FIA).
The event was first held in 1981 and won by Shekhar Mehta of Kenya. The most successful driver in the championship’s history is Zambian driver Satwant Singh with eight title. Kenya’s Baryan is the reigning champion.
Zambia has the biggest number of ARC champions. Satwant Singh won in 1988, ’99, ‘91, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’98 and in 2000. He is followed by Muna Singh in 2004 and 2005, Mohamed Essa 2012 and Jassy Singh 2013.
Kenya has won the title on six different occasions starting with Mehta in 1981 followed by Jasi Chatthe in 2015, Don Smith 2016 and Manvir Baryan three times starting in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Do you know that….
Ron Smith is an established Autocross driver having clinched the Under 1600 Class Championship.
The Safari Rally was his first ever rally event. His father, Don Smith, is a well-known former rally driver who is also a former African Rally Championship winner. His navigator, Laban Cliff, is a student of the Abdul Sidi Rally Advisor.