Safari Rally: International drivers wary of unpredictable conditions in Kenya

© Safari Rally.

MOTORSPORTS Safari Rally: International drivers wary of unpredictable conditions in Kenya

Joel Omotto 16:30 - 24.03.2024

International drivers are gearing up for a challenging WRC Safari Rally with windy and hot conditions expected this time unlike the muddy terrain of the last three years.

As the countdown begins for the highly anticipated 2024 WRC Safari Rally Kenya, drivers from around the globe are gearing up for what promises to be an electrifying showdown in Naivasha.

With the stage set for high-speed action and fierce competition, anticipation among both drivers and fans is at an all-time high for the March 28-31 event.

Frenchman Adrien Fourmax of M-Sport Ford is among the contenders who have already arrived in Kenya, ready to take on the challenging terrain.

Reflecting on the stark contrasts between Kenya's climate and landscape and his native France, Fourmax expressed his excitement, highlighting the need to adapt to the hot temperatures and unique landscapes.

"First I need to get used to the temperature here. It's very hot, obviously, compared to what we have in France. I need to get used to it. And the landscape is completely different. So, yeah, quite a shock now, but a very nice experience. Obviously, it's quite different from what we have in Europe but it's always interesting to discover something new,” said Fourmax.

“For sure, it's a difficult rally, especially for the cars but our hope is to score a lot of points in WRC2 because we are not many drivers. So, if we manage to avoid the troubles, I think we should score good points and for the championship this is what we need," he added.

Thierry Neuville, the early championship leader from Hyundai Shell Mobis team, shares a mix of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming rally.

Recognising the unique challenges that the Safari Rally presents, Neuville is looking forward to the adventure and unpredictable conditions that await him. With the windy season adding an extra dimension to the rally, Neuville acknowledges the need to adapt quickly to the rough and bumpy roads of Kenya, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of the event.

“Coming here to Kenya now, much earlier in the season, we are really looking forward to the race. We know it's a windy season as well, so it's going to be probably a different challenge than what we've seen in the previous years. But it's always exciting to be here and it's some kind of adventure and much different than all the other rallies,” said Neuville.

“I think it's an enjoyable experience. It's a thing you have to do once in your lifetime and I'm lucky to be here today. It might be like this all week. I mean, it's good to arrive there and feel well prepared, but for a rally like this, we have no opportunities to really find the same conditions in Europe to test," added Neuville.

Meanwhile, Elfyn Evans, known for his composed demeanor, stresses the significance of preparation while maintaining a calm and focused attitude. For Evans, finding the balance between being prepared and relaxed is crucial as he prepares to tackle one of the toughest events in the World Rally Championship's history.

As preparations for the event reach full throttle, organisers and teams are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience for both drivers and spectators.

With the Service Park already erected and meticulous attention to detail in every aspect of the event, the Safari Rally Kenya is poised to deliver a thrilling spectacle that upholds its legacy as one of the most challenging rallies in the world.

The Safari Rally Kenya, marking the third round of the 2024 World Rally Championships, follows the adrenaline-fueled action of Rallye Monte and Rally Sweden, setting the stage for yet another chapter of rallying excellence in the heart of Africa.

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