Kenya: Lawyer Eric Bengi Ready for Safari Rally 'Case'

One of Kenya's Premier Class driver featuring in the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally is a top lawyer who has won many cases in his career.

However, one case he is yet to win outside the corridors of justice is the treacherous Safari Rally.

Eric Bengi will be going flat out as he pushes the gas pedal hard in the hope of finding a winning formula in the global event which is returning to Kenya after a 19-year hiatus. The event will run from June 24-27.

Bengi admits that he will need more than air in the cylinders and increasing engine speed to get a podium finish.

"This car never goes for a wedding. We're prepared to take the challenges as they come in the WRC. We have prepared the best way we can and we expect a fantastic event," said Bengi.

Just like the many cases he has won, this time around he will require a certain amount of calmness to drive in the tough terrain in Naivasha.

"I hope to ink my name in the list of fame in the WRC," said the former Group N and Division One champion, who will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 navigated by Peter Mutuma.

Bengi put up a strong case ahead of the WRC Safari when he qualified during the 2021 qualifying round of the FIA and African Rally Championship Equator Rally in Naivasha on April 23, clocking 03:21:37.2 for a 15th place finish.

"Our machine is well-tuned and although we're not competing in any of the WRC categories one, two and three, I believe it will be a good experience for us to gauge our driving skills and endurance levels against international drivers," said Bengi.

"Whatever the outcome, it will be a win-win situation for us as we will pick valuable lessons from international drivers because rallying like any sporting event is a daily learning curve.

"We'll do a postmortem after the event and evaluate our strong and weak points, compare our timings with them and gauge where we lie on the log."

Speaking to Nation Sport after practice at Gicheha farm in Rongai Sub-county, Nakuru County, Bengi said Naivasha and Soysambu routes are tricky.

"Naivasha terrain has soft volcanic mountain soil and since the first cars to rev off are pretty fast, we expect the terrain to deteriorate but we will tackle it to the best of our knowledge as we have competed on it," said Bengi.

His greatest success of all time is when he finished eighth in the Kenya National Rally Championship in a two-wheel drive car in 2017.

Bengi assured his fans and followers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania of putting up a good fight saying: "Our fans are fantastic and have given us moral support. I urge them to turn out in large numbers on social media to cheer us."

Bengi thanked his sponsors Kabras Sugar. "My sponsors have been my sweet darling. They embraced us when we were crawling and have helped us rise through the ranks through their massive financial support," he said.

He said after WRC, he will participate in African Rally Championships in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

"Participating in WRC categories is an expensive undertaking unless you have heavy sponsorship."

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