Karan Patel gears up for Safari Rally with high-octane new ride

©Red Bull

MOTORSPORTS Karan Patel gears up for Safari Rally with high-octane new ride

Festus Chuma 12:35 - 14.02.2024

KCB-sponsored driver Karan Patel has acquired a new rally car, aiming for top 10 in Safari Rally Kenya and defending his title.

African Rally Champion Karan Patel is revving up for the WRC Safari Rally Kenya scheduled for March 28-31 with a significant upgrade to his rally arsenal.

The seasoned racer has taken possession of the ex-Carl Tundo 2018 Skoda Fabia R5 a move that marks a new chapter in his illustrious rally career.

This new acquisition replaces his trusty Ford Fiesta R5, the vehicle that propelled him to victory in the 2023 FIA African Rally Championship alongside navigator Tauseef Khan.

The Skoda Fabia R5 comes with a notable pedigree, having been driven by Tundo in last year’s Safari Rally in Naivasha, where it secured a third-place finish in the WRC2 category.

At the heart of Nairobi, outside Kencom House, Patel unveiled the Skoda’s striking yellow and green livery during the official launch of KCB Bank’s 2024 WRC Safari Rally sponsorship.

The event was not just a showcase but also an electrifying spectacle, as Patel took Sports CS Ababu Namwamba for a thrilling ride along Moi Avenue, delighting the gathered crowd with a taste of the rally experience.

This year, Patel's ambitions are set high as he aims for a top 10 overall finish in the Safari Rally, a goal that he acknowledges will not come easily.

"Achieving a top 10 is not going to be easy. It will require a lot of high-risk driving," Patel admitted, reflecting on the challenges of the past and the unpredictable nature of rally racing.

Beyond the Safari Rally, Patel is focused on defending his African Rally Championship title with his new machine.

© Karan Paterl racing

Despite the joy of last year's victory, Patel remains grounded, emphasizing the difficulty of maintaining championship status.

"It’s always easy to win a title but keeping it is difficult," he shared, highlighting his determination to not rest on his laurels but to strive for continued success.

The transition to the Skoda Fabia R5 is a strategic one for Patel. With a test drive already under his belt, he is keenly aware of the adjustments needed in his driving style to harness the full potential of his new ride.

"We have tested the car once but we need to do it some more," Patel noted, pointing to the importance of preparation and adaptation.

As the WRC Safari Rally Kenya approaches, all eyes will be on Patel and his new machine, ready to write the next thrilling chapter of his racing career. 

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