Nairobi, Kenya, June 3, 2019–Zambian duo Jassy Sjngh and Leroy Gomes will lead the foreign legion in this year’s Safari Rally which revs off at Kasarani Stadium on Friday.
Jassy, son of the legendary Muna Singh and Ndola based Gomes arrived on Tuesday and proceeded for the two-day reconnaissance to familiarize with Kenyan conditions.
Jassy, the 2013 African Rally Champion, has yet to finish the Safari Rally in two attempts.
Although he announced his retirement from rallying last year, Jassy seems not content in his rally career without a Safari rally finish to his resume. “I have a bone to pick in Kenya. It has bitten me twice so we are going for our third attempt. Also because this is a WRC candidate event, I would love to be part of it and show the world what Africa is made of. Kenya is a long, tough rally with tons of competition. We had the Kenyans come over to Zambia and they proved they are not men with grey hair for nothing,” Jassy said. Uganda has the biggest chunk of foreigners with 8 entries. They will be spearheaded by three-times Champion Ronald Ssebuguzi and Duncan Mubiru “Kikankane” both driving Evolution 10 cars. Ssebuguzi and his partner Leon Ssenyange tested their car In Kajiado on Tuesday.
“The car feels good and is handling well. We just did a small performance test to enable our technical team make a few adjustments before the event,” said Ssebuguzi.
Gomes who is a leading contender in the African Rally Championship (ARC) said he is excited to be back for the Safari after gracing last year’s event.
“We are in high spirits with big smiles as we begin our journey to the Safari Rally in Kenya.
Safari has always been a good event, a finish will be good for us,” said Gomes who is running a Ford Fiesta R5.
Gomes finished 4th on ARC 2 South Africa York Rally will be fighting with Kenya’s Manvir Baryan for ARC points.
Kepher Walubi and Christakis Fitidis of Uganda also exuded confidence.
“We are done with fInal touches to the car and now ready for the Safari Rally,” said Fitidis who is powered by ORYX Energies Uganda.
Walubi is no stranger to the KNRC having participated in other event s including Safari and Eldoret.
“We had the car mapped and thereafter did some few test drives. The car responded perfectly and we are good to go. I take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and wish everyone that will be traveling to Kenya to support not only us but all Team Uganda,” said Walubi.
England based Hardev Sira is also bubbling with confidence.
Sira who previously lived in Eldoret is driving a Ford Escort and will be among the top classic contenders in the ClassicClass alongside former Kenyan Champion Jonathan Somen and Raaji Bharij also both in a similar make.
The rally will be flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday 11am outside the presidential pavilion.
Thereafter cars will tackle two sections within the Stadium vicinity and the forest section at Gatamaiyo In Kiambu into the overnight parc farme at Sopa Lodge Naivasha.
Saturday’s action will be centered around Elemntaita and Soysambu which is the day’s spectator viewing points.
Sunday route will revolve around Malewa and Kedong (opposite Sopa) which is the official finish and spectator stage.
PS Peter Kaberia will route open the super special stage at Kasarani stage in Rehan Shah’s Mitsubishi Evolution. Today he recced the 4.8km stage to have a feel of the car and the short section where thousands of spectators are expected on Friday.