Top 5 drivers to watch out in the 2022 WRC Safari Rally
50 Drivers have so far confirmed their official participation in the 2022 WRC Safari Rally that will be staged in Naivasha.
Let’s dive in and have a look at some of the top drivers set to battle it out at the challenging terrain in the heart of Naivasha.
Paralytic driver Nikhil Sachania is ready for yet another thrilling showdown after he and his navigator/partner Deep Patel secured sponsorship deals under KCB to fast tune their Mitsubishi EvoX machine.
Nikhil and his able-bodied partner Patel will form part of the Mitsubishi EvoX two-car KCB drivers’ line up for the Safari Rally alongside Evans Kavisi and Absalom Aswani.
Sachania, who will be the only paralytic driver in the rally, finished at 21st place last season, but hopes he can step up at least two places at the end of the three-day grueling rally.
Probably the biggest comeback to the iconic Safari Rally is Frenchman Seb Loeb.
The nine-time world champ M-Sport Ford dare-devil will mark his first Kenya start since 2002 when he steered a Citroën Xsara to fifth place finish.
Loeb is part of a six-car M-Sport World Rally Team line-up for Safari Rally alongside Briton Gus Greensmith, Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux, Craig Breen of Ireland, Martin Prokop (Czech Republic), and Belgian Jourdan Serderdis.
Loeb will be driving in an M-Sport Ford Puma and hopes to relive his iconic moments in Naivasha.
2022 Equator Rally Champion Patel and his navigator Tauseef Khan will be looking to yet again dominate the Kenyan chart-list in the WRC Safari Rally when they lock horns with the best drivers.
The Nairobi-based businessman, steering a Ford Fiesta R2, and navigated by Tauseef Khan maintained the lead to win Kenya’s round of the 2022 African Rally Championship for the first time in his rallying career.
Loeb’s greatest rival and country mate Sebastian Loeb will yet again dawn the Safari Rally and defend his current championship status.
The Frenchman was partnered by championship leader Kalle Rovanperä, who claimed a third consecutive victory at the Vodafone Rally de Portugal.
Ogier is currently in the Toyota Gazoo Racing team together with Takamoto Katsuta and Elfyn Evans.
Rally Italia Sardegna winner Estonian Ott Tanak will be aiming to reduce the gap between him and second placed Neuville in the Championship standings.
Tänak will also be on a mission to propel his Hyundai team who for the most part of the season has been playing catch-up.
The Estonian was in dominant form on the Mediterranean island’s punishing rock-strewn roads and brought his hybrid-powered i20 N Rally1 car home 1min 3.2sec clear of M-Sport Ford driver Craig Breen in Italy.
The event will revolve around Nairobi and Naivasha covering a total distance of 1226.23km.
Shakedown returns to Ndulele Conservancy for the second year running on June 22, whereas Kasarani Super Special Stage on June 23 will see WRC crews recce in their Rally 1 hybrids.