The first part of the Equator Rally kicked off Wednesday with the scrutineering of the rally cars classified in the national category.
Musa Locho, the Chief FIA Technical Delegate with the mandate to inspect each and every rally car that is expected to tackle the first round of the Africa Rally Championship, was optimistic of a flawless rally.
"It has been good so far having done about 10 cars from the National Class, which are mostly for the local drivers. Today, it will be another task as we look at the R5 cars of drivers such as Carl Tundo, Onkar Rai and Tejveer Rai. We are expecting another 24 cars roughly," Locho told Nation Sport.
Out of the total number of 34 entries, seven are R5 cars that have been enlisted for the 2021 FIA ARC Equator Rally.
The ARC is open to R5-specification four-wheel drive cars from the Rally2 class of technical regulations. They are less modified than World Rally Cars and power and performance are balanced through turbocharger air restrictors, minimum weight stipulations and price caps.
Drivers will also be out today for the official reconnaissance of the official route of the rally.
The Equator Rally will tackle six competitive stages from the 2021 WRC Safari Rally set up which has been planned for the Kenya's return to the World Rally Championship in June.
The drivers will tackle Elmentaita, Sosyambu and Sleeping Warrior on Day Two while Day Three will pass through Malewa, Loldia and Kedong once.
On the first day on Friday, drivers will do a practice run in the Ndulele Conservancy.
While Locho was busy with the scrutineering of rally cars, there were many others who were putting final touches to their participation in the rally as Marshalls, time controllers, and safety marshalls.
Charles Hinga, who has participated in over five Safari Rally competitions, is the Spectator Safety Officer in the rally to be run over the weekend. Hinga won the Formula Two Class in the 2009 Safari Rally as part of his success story.
"We are monitoring each and every vital point in the competition to make sure we have our Marshalls at every specific point. The job has actually started for us. We want to have a safe and successful rally," said Hinga.
Ian Duncan was among the leading drivers whose Nissan 240RS was inspected today. He has contested the Equator Rally four times, won once in 1991 and scored two podium finishes. Five times winner of the Safari Rally, Tundo will drive a VW Polo R5.
The latest Equator Rally Entry List (with Door Numbers in brackets):
1. (7) Eric Bengi/Peter Mutuma (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-NR4), 2. (6) Tejveer Rai/Gareth Dawe (Volkswagen Polo RC2-R5), 3. (5) Ian Duncan/Tej Sehmi (Nissan 240RS NAT-Classic), 4. (3) Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (VW Polo R5), 5. (2) Onkar Rai/Drew Sturrock (Volkswagen Polo RC2-R5), 6. (1 ) Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-R4), 7. (8) Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan (Ford Fiesta RC2-R5), 9. (9) Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2), 10. (10) Issa Amwari/Job Njiru (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-R4), 11. (201) Amaanraj Rai/Oslaj Viljem (Ford Fiesta RC2-R5), 12. ( 202) Giancarlo Davite/Sylvia Vindevogel (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-NR4), 13. (203) Pratul Ghose/Imran Khan (Volkswagen Polo RC2-R5), 14. (200) Rajiv Ruparelia/Enoch Olinga (Volkswagen Polo/Proto NAT-SPV), 15. Yasser Nasser/Ali Katumba/ (Subaru Impreza RC2-NR4), 16. (208) Duncan Mubiru/Musa Nsubuga (Subaru Impreza RC2-NR4), 17. (206) Kepher Walubi/Muhamadi Asuman (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-NR4), 18. (19 ) John Ng'ang'a/Edward Ndukui (Subaru Impreza NAT-S), 19. ( 20) Nikhil Sachania/Deep Patel (Mitsubishi Evolution 10), 20. (23 ) Aakif Virani/Azhar Bhatti (Skoda Fabia RC2-R5), 21. (55) Piero Canobbio/TBA (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-R4), 22. (207) Hassan Alwi/James Mwangi (Subaru Impreza RC2-NR4), 23. (24) Mcrae Kimathi/Shameer Yusuf (Subaru Impreza RC2-NR4 ), 24. (25) Steve Mwangi/Dennis Mwenda (Subaru Impreza RC2-NR4), 25. (210) Guy Botterill/Simon Vacy-Lyle (Toyota Etios RC2-R5), 26. (209) Christakis Fitidis/Eric Nzamwita (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-NR4), 27. (26) Hussein Malik/Linet Ayuko (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-N4), 28. (32) Evans Kavisi/Absolom Aswani (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-NR4), 29. (205) Ronald Sebuguzi/Anthony Mugambwa (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 RC2-NR4), 30. (39) Nzioka Waita/Tuta Mionki (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO10), 31. (36) Kailesh Chauhan/Tariq Malik (Ford Escort RS NAT-Classic), 32. (22) Edward Maina/John Ngugi (Subaru Impreza NAT-S), 33. (34) Daren Miranda/Wayne Fernandes (Subaru Impreza), 34. (211) Geoff Mayes/Suzanne Zqagwe (Land Rover).