Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) Premier Class driver Eric Bengi believes the much-awaited comeback of the fabled Safari Rally to the FIA World Rally Championship calendar is a perfect opportunity to reignite local drivers’ talent.
The former KNRC Two Wheel, Division One and Group N Champion also believe racing against the big boys of World Rally Championship; WRC will trigger the much-needed gusto for locals to attack.
Bengi will be one of the many drivers from the current crop of KNRC speedsters to debut the iconic WRC Safari which will be held next year.
From the current group of KNRC drivers, only reigning Kenya and Safari Champion Baldev Chager, Ian Duncan and Carl ‘Flash” Tundo have graced the WRC Safari event.
Legendary Duncan was the last Kenyan driver to lay his hands on a WRC Safari title when he won the 42nd Trust Bank Safari Rally in 1994.
Duncan, Mike Kirkland, Vic Preston Senior/Junior, Shekhar Mehta, Joginder Singh and Patrick Njiru were among the locals who featured prominently back in the Safari day.
Having run a WRC round 18 years ago, Kenya made the step up to top-flight action this year, but the event was pushed to next year due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The World Safari Rally will be based in Nairobi with the service park and stages located near Lakes Naivasha and Elmenteita, north-west of the city in the Great Rift Valley.