Seven instances World rally champion Sebastien Ogier says he’s keen so as to add the Safari Rally title to his checklist of wins.
Ogier, who will probably be making his debut in Africa for Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT arrived on Sunday evening in a personal jet accompanied by his Hyundai Motorsport WRT counterpart Ott Tanak who can be the 2019 world champion.
Ogier stated tyres will play a significant function in Safari supremacy battles given nature of the robust Kenyan terrain.
“I am overly excited to be right here in Kenya the place I will probably be rallying for the primary time. To my followers, keep protected, we’ll strive our stage greatest to ship the Safari title,” Ogier stated.
Estonian Tanak who has had a foul season stated: “it is all the time an ideal feeling to check out new terrain. We’re giving this one out greatest shot following our retirement in Italy. Above all, we’re trying ahead to the Safari journey.”
When Tanak and Ogier landed on the Jomo Kenyatta Worldwide Airport in a personal jet final evening, it lastly dawned of Kenyan rally followers that, certainly, the WRC Safari Rally is actual.
That is the primary time in 19 years for world rally champions to land on African soil for a spherical of the World Rally Championship.
In the meantime, navigator Tuta Mionki leads a gaggle of six feminine opponents to the Safari Rally. The 2019 Kenya Motorsports Persona of the 12 months will associate Nzioka Waita in a Mitsubishi Evolution10 R4 rally automotive.
Mionki and Waita have rebuilt and examined the automotive after the Africa Rally Championship Equator Rally held in Naivasha on April 24-25.
They two would have beloved to do extra exams with the automotive, however couldn’t for varied causes. Mionki, who was launched to rallying early in life, is prepared for her largest task but.
“I used to be launched to rallying as a toddler when the Safari Rally was a part of the WRC, nevertheless it feels good to compete within the occasion this yr when it’s making a significant return to the WRC,” Mionki informed Nation Sport.
Different feminine opponents within the June 24 – 27 Safari Rally embody Maxine Wagome, Chantal Younger, Linet Ayuko, Sylvia Vindevorgel from Rwanda and Poland’s Tomazs Boryslawski.
Mionki added: “I first competed within the Safari Rally in 2012, and I’ve taken half within the occasion yearly with blended outcomes. In 2012, we simply managed a end with Victor Okundi after being caught within the sand on the finish of a stage.
In 2013, we had a unbelievable occasion with Steve Gacheru and completed 14th general after dropping time with a puncture within the final part of the rally,”she provides. She additionally partnered Murage Waigwa within the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Safari Rally.