KENYA’S SAFARI RALLY PROVES IT’S WORTH IT TO BE RANKED IN WRC



Kenya’s Safari rally
proved yet again it stands
out as one of the toughest
rallies with over 10 drivers
failing to complete.
However, that alone will not
warrant its return to the
World Rally Championships,
a decade after it was
ejected over security and
lack of funds.
But that has not dashed
hopes of local drivers as
they seek to improve its
competitive edge and
safety precautions as the
premier event in the
continent.
“I was keen to win the
rally. It is one of the
toughest, run on gravel,
just like the World Rally
Championships. But Africa is
not involved in the 13-tier
event and Safari rally will
easily make that cut should
the Federation of
International Automobile
(FIA) consider it,” said
Surinder Thatthi, a local
FIA official.
The WRC series currently
consists of 13 three-day
events driven on surfaces
ranging from gravel and
tarmac to snow and ice.
Baldev Singh Chager and
his partner Ravi Soni won
this year’s Safari Rally title
with a massive 10.06
minutes margin over 2006
winner Azar Anwar.
But the real battle was
over the Africa Rally
Championships points in
which the Safari rally is
among the eight events
drivers in the continent
compete in.
The African Rally
Championship drivers bore
the full brunt of Safari
rockery with only two
finishers in Essa Mohammed
(seventh) and Jas Mangat,
who came in number 26.
Casualties in the ARC
category were Giancarlo
Davite of Rwanda, Jassy
Singh of Zambia and Kenyas
Jassi Chatthe all crashing
out in the long 84km section
which ran from Il-Bisel all
the way to Parane.
This meant that Jas Mangat
and Gihan De Silva from
Uganda were crowned the
new FIA African Rally
Champions (ARC) 2013
leaders with their second
place ARC finish in Kenya.
They had won Puma Energy
Rally of Tanzania last
month and will return to
Kampala for the Pearl of
Africa Uganda Rally in
August. The Safari rally
was fifth in the series.
With three more in Rwanda,
Madagascar and Uganda
remaining, Mangat who is
racing on a Kenyan
competition licence has 58
points followed by African
champion Mohamed Essa of
Zambia on 50 while
youngster Jassy Singh has
48.
Mangat took over the lead
from Jassy, who is son of
ARC 2004 and 2005
champion Muna Singh. Muna
was incidentally the FIA
Steward at the Safari this
time round.
Africa Rally Championships
standings
1. Jas MANGAT (Uganda) 58
2. Mohamed ESSA
(Zimbabwe) 50
3. Jassy SINGH (Zimbabwe)
48
4. Giancarlo DAVITE
(Rwanda) 33
5. Eric PAGES (Ivory Coast)
25
6. Jan HABIG (South Africa)
25

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