The 2017 KMSF Safari Rally bringing together the finest drivers from Africa
and European semi- professionals will be a truly African test on the
floor of the Rift Valley and the foot hills of the Aberdares.
The distance, slightly over 200km competitive stages, may be deceiving but
in essence this will be battle royale between man and machine and rekindles
the memories of the last World Rally Championship (WRC) in some parts of
the same area in 2002.
Dust was plenty and many a driver got bogged down in front of world
television. For the first time there was no Kenyan finisher after Kailesh
Chouhan’s car succumbed on its way home.
The weather forecast indicates that Naivasha will be rainy on March 17 but
surrounding areas of Nakuru will be dry. Either ways, dust or mud, the
receipt is still the same_ hell for cars and drivers, heavenly bliss for
the watching fans.
That aside, the other defining element for the Safari will be the altitude
factor especially in Bahati and Dondori forests. The turbos will be on full
throttle throughout. Here rains come without warning but the alluvial
soil will not be a factor to slow down cars.
For the spectators, the Gicheha Farm in lower altitude Salgaa area along
Eldoret/ Nakuru highway and Soysambu private are welcome break from
opening roads racing.
Will Kenyan champion Tapio Laukanen of Finland be the chaser or the chased
when he sets standards for pure adrenalin pumping derby in the two days of
Laukanen, in a time-tested Subaru Impreza N16, has shown a consistency of
mixing with veterans such as Jaspreet Chatthe,
Carl Tundo, Ian Duncan and Baldev Chager _ all former Safari champions and
in essence bringing level of competition at the top exciting_ and coming
out the better driver.
The lone Subaru has evenly and at some point comprehensively vanquished the
Mitsubishi Lancer Evos.