Defending WRC champion Kalle Rovanperä will be hoping to continue with his glittering performance to reclaim the title he won on Kenyan soil last year at the upcoming World Rally Championship Safari Rally scheduled for June 22-26 this year in Nairobi and Naivasha.
The 22-year-old Finn who is currently on top of the FIA World Rally Championship standings once again proved the class of the field as he completed last year’s 19 brutal gravel stages (363.44km) with victory at a gruelling Safari Rally Kenya, as Toyota locked out the top four positions.
“It feels great,” beamed Rovanperä. “I have to say, this was the hardest rally I have ever done and if I am honest we just have to thank the team.
“To have four cars like this with no issues means it is clearly the strongest and fastest car. The team did a fantastic job.”
The fast-rising speedster led his team Toyota to a 1-2-3-4 finish on the final day with his compatriots Elfy Evans, Takamoto Katsuta and Sebastien Ogier finished in that order.
He said he was determined to right the wrongs he made in the Safari Rally during the 2021 season, which saw him retire from the championships without a podium finish.
The event which will start at Kasarani Super Special Stage at the ceremonial flag off at Uhuru Park has retained 90 percent of last year’s route which will see fans treated to full day action in the Kedong/Loldia areas on the Friday followed by Roysambu,Elementaita and Sleeping Warrior test before the Rally concludes on Saturday at the Hells gate
The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.
Competitors can expect rocky and rutted tracks and unpredictable weather which could transform dry and dusty trails into glutinous mudbaths.
The Safari Rally was first held in 1953, as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1960 it was renamed the East African Safari Rally and kept that name until 1974, when it became the Kenya Safari Rally.