Toronto based Malik, Tapio jet in for Safari Rally


Finn Tapio Laukannen in action at the KCB Kajiado Rally on Saturday, February 27, 2016. PHOTO/Attex ...
Finn Tapio Laukannen in action at the KCB Kajiado Rally on Saturday, February 27, 2016. PHOTO/Attex Sport

The ‘Flying Finn’ Tapio Laukkanen and Canada based Moez Malik are among the foreign drivers who are already in town well in time for the 64th KCB Safari Rally to be held at the end of the week.

The two toured the route alongside local drivers ahead of the two day event that will be held in Nairobi and Elementaita in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

Toronto based Moez lived and competed in Kenya in the 80s and 90s before migrating to Canada, while Tapio, a former Finland and British rally champion has been competing in Kenya since 2012 and tackled the last two seasons of KNRC sweeping the grounds with all his opponents whenever he had a clean run.

The Flying Finn lost his lead this season on the KNRC log after suffering double punctures on the initial and repeat run of Kobonyo Stage in Kisumu.

Tapio who has also mentored several locals led the Safari last year in Mount Kenya region by a massive five minutes on penultimate day only to bow out when his service crew failed to reach the remote service in the required time.

He will be navigated by compatriot Passi Torma in a Subaru Imprrza GVB 13 which is an R4 car.

Other drivers using R4 machines are Isaa Amwari (EVOX), Kabras Sugar Racing team of Baldev Chager, Onkar Rai and Tejveer Rai all in EVOX, and Team Kibos ace Jassi Chatthe also in a similar make.

This year’s Safari will see quite a number of drivers making a comeback including Quentin Mitchell and the Kioni brothers- David and Mwangi.

“We are going to approach it like any other rally. We will take it as it comes and try to enjoy it as much as we can as it’s our first rally back this year. We have been out for seven months and we have to remember how to drive.

“The Safari is always a highlight owing to several days of competition and the reputation it carries with it,” said Quentin, after reconnaissance in Elmentaita area.

The Kioni brothers who are sons of Kenya Volleyball Federation Chairman; Waithaka Kioni will pilot their Group S Subaru Impeza GC8 when the iconic event traverses private farm stages from Friday to Sunday.

The last time Kioni’s drove together was during the 62nd edition of the Safari Rally in 2014.

David, who last competed in 2015 with James Mwangi Harrison, hopes to shake off some cobwebs on his GC8.

David and Mwangi made their KNRC debut in Eldoret 2010 and have since competed in several KNRC events with other teams. Mwangi did the whole season with Kalulu last year and finished 2nd on the KNRC Division Two log.

“Our first rally in Eldoret is nevertheless something we would want to forget in a hurry as we kissed the event goodbye after crashing into a swamp. I’m a bit rusty at the moment after skipping quite a number of rallies, but we just want to bring the GC8 back in one piece at KICC.

“We are hoping to have a steady run and remain consistent and just finish. I have been really itching to get back to a rally car. But due to lack of sponsorship we have been forced out of KNRC events so we are glad to take part in this Rally thanks to my family and friends and I’m looking forward to having great fun,” David told.

KCB SAFARI RALLY 2016-SEEDED ENTRY LIST

  1. Jaspreet Chatthe/ Gurdeep Panesar -Mitsubishi Evo10
  2. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch -Mitsubishi Evo 10
  3. Carl Tundo /Tim Jessop -Mitsubishi Evo 10
  4. Rajbir Rai /Greg Stead- Ford Fiesta
  5. Quentin Mitchell /Steven Cook –Skoda Fabia
  6. Tapio Laukkanen /Pasi Torma –Subaru Impreeza
  7. Baldev Chager /Ravi Soni -Mitsubishi Evol 10
  8. Karan Patel /Tauseef Khan- Mitsubishi Evol 10
  9. Onkar Rai /Gareth Dawe -Mitsubishi Evo 10
  10. Tejveer Rai /Zahir Shah -Mitsubishi Evo 10
  11. 11.Pietro Cannobio /Silvia Frigo- Mitsubishi Evo 10
  12. 18. Izhar Mirza /Kavit Dave -Mitsubishi Evo 9
  13. Jasmeet Chana /Ravinder Chana -Mitsubishi Evo 9
  14. Farhaaz Khan /Keith Henrie -Mitsubishi Evo 9
  15. Imran Mogul /Adnan Din -Subaru N12
  16. Jansher Sandhu /Feisal Khan- Mitsubishi Evo 9
  17. Issa Amwari /Edward Njoroge -Mitsubishi Evo 10
  18. Stephen Mwangi/ Jonathan Kosgei –Subaru Impreza
  19. Asad Khan /Harshil Limbani –Subaru Impreza GC8
  20. Mahesh Halai /Ketan Halai –Subaru Impreza N12
  21. John Ng’ang’a /Anthony Njenga – Subaru Impreza N12
  22. Eric Bengi /Tuta Mionki –Toyota Runx
  23. Jonathan Somen /Richard Hechle –Ford Escort
  24. Eric Njogu /Tony Kimondo –Subaru Impreza N10
  25. Adil Mirza /Kashif Shaikh –Mitsubishi Evo9
  26. Chandrakant Devji /Julius Mwachuya – Subaru Impreza GC8
  27. Rehan Shah /George Kiama –Mitsubishi Evo9
  28. Sammy Nyorri /James Mwangi –Totota Runx
  29. Leonardo Varese /Kigondu Kareithi –Toyota Corolla
  30. Ramesh Vishram /Riyaz Ismail –Ford Escort
  31. Natasha Tundo /Chantal Young-Subaru Impreza
  32. Alex Lairang’i /Anthony Gichohi –Toyota Corolla
  33. Andrew Muchemi /Kimaru Boit –Mitsubishi Evo8
  34. Edward Maina /Steve Mbuthia –Subaru IMpreza GC8
  35. David Kioni /Mwangi Kioni –Subaru Impreza
  36. McRae Kimathi /Stephen Njenga – Subaru Impreza GC8
  37. Osman Abdullahi /Evans Mwenda – Subaru Impreza N10
  38. Josiah Kariuki /John Ngugi – Subaru Impreza N11
  39. Nikhil Sachania /Salim Khan –Fiat Abarth
  40. Geoff Mayes /Jamie Mactavish –Range Rover
  41. Moez Malik /Absolom Aswani –Mitsubishi Evo6
  42. Sam Karangatha /Edward Ndukui –Subaru Leone

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Story By Philip Muchiri
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