Kenya's Patel revels in training with world champion Rovanpera, Katsuta

Kenyan youngster Maxime Wahome in action in the second day of World Rally Championship Safari Rally Kenya on June 24, 2022. [WRC] 

The new World Rally Championship (WRC) season is set to rev-off on January 19-22 with the iconic Rallye Monte Carlo in France opening the adrenaline filled series.

Kenya is set to host the seventh leg of the series on June 22-25 at the lakeside town of Naivasha.

The intensity of the championship has kept top global drivers busy with preparation ahead of next month’s revv-off.

Not left out in this mix is the reigning Kenyan speedster Karan Patel who travelled to Finland to up his training alongside world champion Kalle Rovanpera and his Toyota Gazoo Racing team mates Takamoto Katsuta and Elfyn Evans.

Hosted by team’s principal Jari Matti Latvala, Patel trained with the young Finn (Rovanpera) who has pledged to double his victory in the new season following his stellar performance this year.

The Kenya National Rally Championship winner also picked valuable lessons from Katsuta and Evans in the three-day event which featured a series of experiences that inspired the Kenyan champion. One such experience was co-driving Katsuta on the icy stages of the manufacturer champion’s test site near Jyvaskyla.

With temperatures dipping below -16 degrees, the duo shook off the cold while blistering through the 17km test loop in the snow spangled Finnish forests.

“It was inspiring to sit alongside ‘Taka-san’ in the Toyota GR Rally 1 car, and experience firsthand the pace and sheer skill it takes to succeed at the pinnacle of the sport,” Patel underlined. [Ochieng Oyugi]

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