Laukkanen, Duncan to miss 2018 WRC Safari Rally


Ian Duncan sponsored by Liquid Tel
Ian Duncan before he bowed out of the race

In Summary

  • Defending champion Tapio Laukkanen of Finland and Ian Duncan will miss this year’s WRC Safari Rally  while two-time champion Jaspreet Chatthe will be the first off the ramp.
  • Last year's winner Laukkanen opted out after changing managements while Duncan, the 2009 and 2013 East African Safari Rally (classic) champion chose to concentrate on his preparations for the Top Fry Classic Safari Rally scheduled for March 29- April 2

Defending champion Tapio Laukkanen of Finland and Ian Duncan will miss this year’s WRC Safari Rally  while two-time champion Jaspreet Chatthe will be the first off the ramp.

Last year’s winner Laukkanen opted out after changing managements while Duncan, the 2009 and 2013 East African Safari Rally (classic) champion chose to concentrate on his preparations for the Top Fry Classic Safari Rally scheduled for March 29- April 2.

Favourite Chatthe was ranked the fastest among the seeded drivers for the three-day competition which will be first to be flagged of by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the KICC on Friday.

However, homeboys led by Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (Skoda Fabia R5 RC2-R50), two-time champion Baldeve Charger/ Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-R4) and three-time champion Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-N4) will be hoping to upset him and earn this year’s bragging rights.

The Mt Kenya team spearheaded by Eric Bengi/Tuta Mionki (Subaru Impreza RC2-N4) and Isaa Amwari/Mwangi Kioni (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-R4) are ready to give the spin of their lives as they seek make their first podium finish in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

“The preparations are going on well. We shipped everything we need for the car from abroad and we shall be working to finish top and if that is not possible, we shall target to finish among the top seven. I urge all fans to come cheer me this year after missing the last edition,” Amwari told Muuga FM.

The race organizers’ confirmed that there will be a route change due to the heavy down pour experienced in most parts of the country.

The route, which is tailored to give an African Adventure, will cover a competitive distance of 200.61km.

But due to the weather changes and safety measures, organizers’ will be forced to repeat some of the stages to make it up for the Aberdare Hills (12.55 km) stages 1 and 9 which have been removed leaving   Soysambu (18.75km), Sleeping warrior (25.00km), Elementaita (28.03km) and Kedong (31.50km)

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Story By Charity Wanja
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