Safari set for intense showdown
The 2010 KCB Kenyan Safari Rally is set for one of the strongest entries in recent years as the best rally drivers in Kenya and Africa combine for a three day test of man and machine as a new route and recent heavy rains add to the adventure ahead!
With the KCB Safari Rally counting as the second round of both the Kenyan National Rally Championship and the FIA African Rally Championship a field of over seventy entries are anticipated to take to the ceremonial start in Nairobi on Friday 2 April 2010.
Defending African Rally Champions Jamie Whyte and Phil Archenoul, from Zimbabwe, won the opening rally in Tanzania and will be a strong threat in their Subaru Impreza N10. Reigning Kenyan National Champion and 2009 Safari Rally winner Carl 'Flash' Tundo and Tim Jessop won the Eldoret Rally in February in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 and will be keen to keep the Safari Rally winners trophy in Kenya.
Others to watch out for will be rapid Kenyan Lee Rose, 2009 Pirelli Star Drive winner Peter Horsey, Rwandan Giancarlo Davite and the ever popular Ian Duncan in his monster Nissan 4x4 pick up truck!
When describing the new route Clerk of the Course Dave Macharia explained; we believe the new arrangement will be thrilling to foreign and local drivers because Thika is quite smooth and fast while Kajiado is fairly rough and somewhat tighter. Add in the chance of the rain continuing and it could make things interesting for the crews!
The KCB Safari Rally will begin with a spectator stage around the popular Jahmuri Track which will see cars run two at a time. With the rally coinciding with the Easter holidays a large number of spectators are anticipated. With new stages around Thika and Kajiado, both areas popular during the World Rally Championship days, the rally aims to offer the competitors and fans an experience that they will never forget.
With immediate effect all rounds of the FIA African Rally Championship will be required to ensure that all competing cars are fitted with FIA approved tracking devices to ensure that any accidents can be dealt with accordingly and as promptly as possible. The new systems have been tested in Kenya in the past but this is the first time that the tracking units, a standard fitment in the World Rally Championship, will be compulsory in Africa!
The FIA African Rally Championship will once again play a role in the highly popular Pirelli Star Driver scheme, although the format will change for this year. Each country within Africa will nominate one driver to attend a shootout. The top two drivers, chosen for their speed, driving ability, appearance, public relations and fitness, will then travel to the "world finals" to join representatives from the other regions around the world. The top four drivers from this shootout will have the opportunity to drive in five rounds of the 2011 World Rally Championship.