WRC Safari Rally will reignite home talent, says driver

By People Reporter
Monday, April 19th, 2021
Premier Class driver Eric Bengi.
In summary

Edwin Otieno

Premier Class driver Eric Bengi says the eagerly-awaited Safari Rally comeback to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) will reignite local talent to greater heights.

The former KNRC Two Wheel, Division One and Group N Champion, also believes racing against big boys in the game will trigger the much-needed desire and gusto to attack.

“I know for sure that WRC drivers will whip us out clean but it will be a worthy learning experience to come back, reset and reflect on what makes them tick and how differently they do their things.

I’m sure we’ll all be eager to see what it is that we can learn to become better motorsport people. It will make us drive on the limit, so thrills and spills are guaranteed.

So give Safari three to four years and you will actually see competition from this country. In 2019 we went out as a team to Zambia to compete in the ARC event.

Last year we had big intentions to go do a few East African Rally Championship events but this was distracted by pandemic issues,” said Bengi.

Bengi will be one of the many drivers from the current crop of KNRC speedsters to debut the iconic WRC Safari which will be held from June 24-27.

He will also be partaking the ARC Equator Rally which will traverse some of the Safari Rally routes.

From the current group of KNRC drivers, only reigning Kenya and Safari Champion Baldev Chager, Ian Duncan and Carl ‘Flash” Tundo have graced the WRC Safari event. Legendary Duncan was the last Kenyan driver to lay his hands on a WRC Safari title when he won the 42nd Trust Bank Safari Rally in 1994.

Duncan, Mike Kirkland, Vic Preston Senior/Junior, Shekhar Mehta, Joginder Singh and Patrick Njiru were among the locals who featured prominently back in the old WRC Safari days.