BY SAMSON ATEKA
With heavy rains pounding Laikipia County, the 62nd KCB Safari Rally 2014 is anticipated to be an exciting change of scenario, according to clerk of the course Bimal Patel said.
With deviation from the norm, Bimal said there is going to be many challenges, but exuded confidence that all is well in as far as the route is concerned.
Should heavens open, he added, stages will become more challenging and of course drivers will have to apply their driving skills to keep up with the rigours of the scenic terrain.
Bimal said rains will of course make the Safari more tougher. “We did our final route survey today (yesterday) and we went through all of them in the rain and they are all passable. All farm stages will be “No Go Zones” to spectators who shall only view cars at the designated point at Batian. All officials will have colour-coded badges with special access to areas permitted.”
There has been heavy downpour in Nanyuki and reconnaissance will be equally challenging. The rally starts from KICC on September 12 and the first stage at Migaa will be very fast and very technical.
“I’m sure lots of drivers have tackled Migaa before. After this, cars will proceed to Lengetia near Naro Moru to tackle a 30km stage and this one is full of everything that a driver would like to drive in; very challenging and if it rains it’s going to be more fun to drive. From here they head into Batian View where they will do a 3.2km spectator stage,” said Bimal.
Batian has been used before and this is where drama unfolded with 3km of competitive driving to spare when Carl Tundo lost his lead in the later stages.
The second day of the event will feature a long 54km Loldaiga stage. “We have got Turaco which is a 12km stage created specially just for this rally. Compared to what we ran in Nanyuki Rally, we’ve added a 4km stretch—again very tight, nice corners and the navigator has to be on his notes otherwise the driver will get lost.”
The final day (Sunday) will feature two stages in Kisima. “One is a brand new 11km section never been used before at Wheatlands and could be challenging because we are dropping from approximately 7600ft down to around 5000ft.
The other stage at Kisima is situated at the Airstrip. Very flat-out stage and this is where I will expect a few dramas to occur. The good thing about the long Loldaiga stage is that we are not going to have any Boda Bodas in there.
There is quite a bit of wildlife to spice up the driving for crews. Recently on our route survey, we came across elephants, two leopards, lions, giraffes, zebras- and this is exactly what brings in the word Safari back in the vocabulary of the rally,” added Bimal. The long tarmac transport from Nairobi on September 12 won’t be a challenge, according to Bimal.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke