Ian Duncan to headline 2019 Safari Rally

By Standard Sports: Wednesday, June 19th 2019 at 00:30 GMT +3 | Sports
Ian Duncan in past action in Nakuru. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Ian Duncan will headline this year’s WRC Candidate Event Safari Rally as Head of Presidential Delivery Unit, Nzioka Waita, makes a comeback to the driving seat after sitting out for several years.

Duncan, who missed last year’s event, has entered a Mitsubishi Lancer EXO X and will be navigated by Anthony Nielsen.

The 1994 WRC Safari champion will be going for victory as the most experienced driver in the field of 43 drivers, who have so far confirmed participation.

His presence spices up competition at the top as he takes on defending champion Carl Tundo in a similar make, Africa champion Manvir Baryan, fast-rising Onkar Rai (Skoda Fabia) and Zambian ace Leroy Gomes (Ford Fiesta R5) are among others confirmed drivers.

Other competitors will be from the UK, Italy, Belgian Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

Uganda has the highest number of entrants; at six. Bus-loads of Ugandan fans have confirmed their visit to Kenya to cheer up the drivers.

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Meanwhile, Clerk of Course Gurvi Bhabra has confirmed that entry to Kedong and Soysambu ranches will be free and spectators will be granted all necessary amenities.

Chief safety officer Norris Ongalo said safety is important in Kenya’s route back to the high profile FIA World Rally Championship and they expect to police the roads using volunteer marshals and members of the disciplined forces.

So important is the safety of drivers and spectators that the FIA has sent the 1983 WRC Safari Rally champion Michelle Mouton as the safety delegate and she will drive through the entire route at the beginning of every competitive stage.

The Safari will be flagged outside the President's entrance of Kasarani Stadium on July 5 from 11 am.

Cars will then head to the Super Special Stage on a head-to-head competition of two drivers in the 4.5km stage.

They will then head to Gatamaiyo Forest 12km stage via Thika Road through exit 14 into Kenyatta road.

The cars will come off the stage at Kinale Forest (Soko Mjinga) and use the main Nairobi/Nakuru highway up to Naivasha town before ending the day at Sopa Lodge for overnight say.

Day two will start in Naivasha up to Soysambu where the action will concentrate around Elmentaita.

On Sunday action returns to Kedong in Naivasha.

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