This week’s ARC Equator Rally, the Kenyan round of the 2021 FIA African Rally Championship, has attracted a star-studded entry of 35 drivers.
Kenyan champion Baldev Singh Chager, rising star Karan Patel, five times ARC Safari Rally winner Carl “Flash” Tundo and South African crew of Guy Botterill/Simon Vacy-Lyle are some of the big names to watch in the event which will traverse Lake Naivasha and Soysambu Conservancy on Saturday and Sunday.
Rai siblings Onkar and Tejveer Rai are also expected to ruffle feathers in similar VW Polos which are among the seven R5 cars enlisted.
Also listed in the event are Ugandan speedsters led by Ronald Ssebuguzi aka Sebu, Kepha Walubi, Yasin Nasser, Duncan Mubiru aka Kikankane, Christakis Fitidis and Rajiv Ruparelia.
Ruparelia is returning to Kenya in two months after partaking the season-opening KCB Nakuru Rally.
All-Rwanda crew of Giancarlo Davite and his lady co-driver Sylvia Vindevogel are no strangers to Kenyan competitive stages.
They will be returning to farmilier terrain for the umpteenth time in a Mitsubishi Evolution 10. Davide and Sylvia have been regular visitors on Kenyan ARC events in the past.
Pratul Ghose of United Kingdom and England-based Kenyan Imran Khan will pilot a Volkswagen Polo R5 in their elegant Minti Motorsport livery.
There’s a fabulous fight in prospect among drivers running classic machines with Kailash Chauhan from the Coast and Nairobi based former KNRC Classic Car Champion Jonathan Somen (Ford Escort MK2) going up against racing legend Ian Duncan in a Minti Motorsport Nissan 240RS.
Clerk of the Course Gurvir Bhabra has highlighted an exciting range of events in the run up to Equator Rally.
The weekend event will act as a dry run for WRC Safari Rally Kenya slated for June 24-27.
Equator will offer various Safari officials including Stage Commanders, their Deputies, Set Up Crew and among others Assistant Clerks of Course an opportunity to savour a real WRC scenerio.
Gurvir confirmed that the revived Equator event will use six stages from the WRC Safari route itinerary.The six are Elementaita, Soysambu, Sleeping Warrior, Loldia, Malewa and Kedong.
WRC Safari stages omitted from Equator schedule are Kasarani Super Special Stage (SSS), Oserian and Hell’s Gate (Wolf Power Stage).
Said Gurvir: “Equator being a two-day event, we really don’t have so much mileage to exaust the Safari Rally route. We will run a qualifying stage on Friday that should give us the starters for Day One on Saturday. Friday’s program begins at 0800 with Free Practise and Qualifying at Ndulele, Naivasha.
At 1237, the first car will go into Parc Ferme after qualifying at KWSTI, Naivasha.
From 1530 onwards, the cars head to the Start Parc Ferme at KWSTI, Naivasha. Action proper is Saturday and Sunday.”
The next FIA ARC event after Equator will be Rally of Tanzania on the weekend of July 24-25 followed by Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally on August 21-22, Zambia International Motor Rally on September 25-26 and Rally of South Africa on November 6-7.
Equator Rally will be closed to all spectators.
2021 FIA ARC EQUATOR RALLY
ROUND 3-ENTRY LIST-23rd
1 Eric Bengi -Peter Mutuma -KEN Mitsubishi Evolution 10
2 Tejveer Rai -Gareth Dawe
3 Ian Duncan -Tej Sehmi
KEN -Nissan 240RS -Classic
4 Carl Tundo -Tim Jessop
KEN -Mitsubishi Evolution 10
5 Onkar Rai -Drew Sturrock P KEN
UK Volkswagen Polo -R5
6 Baldev Chager -Ravi Soni KEN – Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-R4
7 Karan Patel -Tauseef Khan
KEN-Ford Fiesta -R5
8 Jasmeet Chana -Ravi Chana – Mitsubishi Evolution 10
9 Issa Amwari-Job Njiru
KEN Mitsubishi Evolution 10
10 Amaanraj Rai -Oslaj Viljem -UG –
SLOV- Ford Fiesta R5
11 Giancarlo Davite -Sylvia Vindevogel RWA- Mitsubishi Evolution 10
12 Pratul Ghose -Imran Khan UK-
13 Rajiv Ruparelia -Enoch Olinga F UG -Volkswagen Polo/Proto
14 Yasin Nasser -Ali Katumba F UG
15 Duncan Mubiru -Musa Nsubuga
UG Subaru Impreza
16 Kepher Walubi -Muhamadi Asuman UG Mitsubishi Evolution 10
17 John Ng’ang’a -Edward Ndukui 1 KEN – Subaru Impreza
18 Nikhil Sachania -Deep Patel – KEN – Mitsubishi Evolution 10
19.Aakif Virani -Azhar Bhatti -KEN -Skoda Fabia R5
20 Piero Canobbio -TBA -KEN – Mitsubishi Evolution 10
21 Hassan Alwi -James Mwangi-UG -KEN -Subaru Impreza
22 Mcrae Kimathi -Shameer Yusuf 1 KEN – Subaru Impreza
23 Steve Mwangi -Dennis Mwenda -KEN- Subaru Impreza
24 Guy Botterill -Simon Vacy-Lyle -RSA- Toyota Etios RC2-R5
25 Christakis Fitidis -Eric Nzamwita – UG RWA- Mitsubishi Evolution 10
26 Hussein Malik -Linet Ayuko- Mitsubishi Evolution 10
27 Evans Kavisi -Absolom Aswani 2 KEN – Mitsubishi Evolution 10
28 Ronald Sebuguzi -Anthony Mugambwa UG – Mitsubishi Evolution 10
29 Jonathan Somen -Richard Hechle -KEN -Ford Escort MK2 Classic
30 Kailesh Chauhan -Tariq Malik 2 KEN – Ford Escort RS -Classic
31 Edward Maina -John Ngugi 1 KEN – Subaru Impreza