A total of 79 drivers have entered year’s KCB Safari Rally, the highest number in recent history, with the series leaders eyeing to triumph and get the sway in their bid to clinch the Kenya National Rally Championship.
Organisers see the huge interest as a testimony of the growth of the motor racing in the country.
The rally will have a total of 530 kilometres and a competitive mileage totalling 200 kilometres.
Entries opened on April 26 and closed on Friday.
The KCB Safari Rally is as a round of the African Rally championship (ARC) and will be staged around the remote gravel roads near Athi River and Kajiado from June 17 to 19.
The event counts towards the 2011 FIA African Rally Championship.
The other rounds are in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda (KCB Pearl of Africa Rally), Kobil Rally of Tanzania, KCB Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally and Total Rally International in Madagascar.
Drivers who have registered
Drivers who have signed up for the event include Africa Champion Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach, fresh from winning the Zambia International Rally, the third round of the ARC, in a G-Fuel Ford Fiesta S2000, Rwandese Giancarlo Davite, Ugandan Jas Mangat, Peter Horsey and his brother Alex Horsey who will become the first competitor to drive a Mitsubishi Evo X in the Safari.
The drivers will join an elite group of Kenyan speedsters who have the strength and mental stamina to take on the three gruelling days of endurance driving and tackling a route course.
These include the current East African Safari Classic winner Ian Duncan (Evo9) who won the WRC Safari series edition in 1994, three times former Kenya Champion Azar Anwar and defending KNRC Champion Alastair Cavenagh.
Alex Horsey, who put in a fine drive on the recent KCB SME Rally in Eldoret to record a career-best third overall finish on the debut of his Mitsubishi Evo X, has dared the ‘big boys’ to a contest in the KCB Safari Rally.
“It feels strange to be almost disappointed with third overall but we did come here to be familiar with the car, so a podium position is actually fantastic,” said Alex who has vowed to fight for a podium in the Safari.
Event director Dali Kalsi said they are excited with the huge entry as well as the progress made so far.