Saturday, June 19, 2021
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Jari-Matti Latvala is nervous about potential wildlife conflicts during the Safari rally

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The World Rally Championship resumes next week with the famed Safari Rally, when the WRC caravan returns to Kenya after an almost 20-year absence.

Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota’s current team manager, had a long career in the World Championship but never got to drive in the renowned Safari rally.

It’s the kind of race I’d like to run, but I’ve never been able to.

Yes, I’ve been to Kenya; my father drove there in 2001. It’s an adventure, very different from past rallies, Latvala tells Rallit.fille.

Now, of course, it has been run in this WRC format. There is still stunning scenery and the surface of the road is quite different. The situation is kind of savannah and there are not so many trees, but more bushes. The roads are clay bottoms that are extremely slippery if it rains, Latvala continues. There is sure to be an exotic adventure where challenges will be enough. Some of the special experiments are taking place in a natural park area, which means that wildlife can be seen along the way. Here are some of the biggest and more exotic animals. That’s a great thing, but let’s hope they stay out of the special stages and aren’t in the way of competitors. The organizer has promised to work for it, Latvala says. Toyota tested this week in Estonia for the World Rally Championship in July. Safari tests were held earlier.

We had tests in Spain at the end of May, where we attempted to integrate the tests from the Sardinian rally and Kenya under really severe conditions. There was a lot of useful information there. Latvala sums it up well: “Safari is coming so rapidly that you can’t truly work for it anymore.”

  • Since 2002, Safari has not been run. It’s going to be a unique race with plenty of surprises. Performance is still difficult to predict. If 60 percent of WRC cars are halted in Sardinia, the hazards are high there as well. The most crucial thing is to just get the car to function.
    The Kenyan World Rally Championship will take place from June 24 to June 27.

Mangat launches NRC fight, Rajiv gets first career podium as Duncan holds tight NRC lead

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In the just concluded Uganda national rally championship round 4 UMC Kassanda sugar rally over the weekend, Jas Mangat Singh co-driven by Joseph Kamya were unmatchable driving the Mitsubishi Evo x R4.

The team Pili Pili crew showed class by winning 5 out of 6 stages of the day to claim victory in style.
Mubiru Duncan the closest challenger who managed to snatch stage 4 with one minute from Jas, was later paid back with same margin in stage 6 for jas to widen the gap again to 2 minutes and 25 seconds.

Jas said, “We started well but we relaxed a bit in the middle there, however, we had to open in the last stage, but this was because we largely knew the routes were closed and we did not expect any boda boda or animal in the stages.

Committed to fetch time off his competitors, Mangat peddled hard on the gas pedal hence catching up with Rajiv in the ultimate stage.

By the end of the rally, Mangat had clocked 1:23:34:37 to seal the win and makes statement on the championship as he carried the tally to 180 only 90 points behind leader Mubiru.

For Rajiv Ruparelia and Enoch Leroy olinga driving the VW polo proto, the crew managed to register their first podium and a second finish since joining the top tier/ NRC class in 2020.

Rajiv finished 3rd after a hard battle with Hassan Alwi who finished 4th driving a Subaru N14 sitting in with Kenyan James Mwangi.
“We feel good as a team, our driver has managed to bring back the car and we’re on podium, thanks to all our crew.” Mike Mwangi the chief mechanic team RR said.

Meanwhile, Duncan Mubiru stretched the NRC lead to 270 points after finishing second in Kassanda and he shifted focus immediately to the upcoming WRC safari rally Kenya on June 23-27th

“We’re happy we’re on the podium, now we’re sighting safari rally and let’s see how it will go,” Duncan said.

The top five NRC standings

Duncan Mubiru     270 points
Hassan Alwi           230
Fred Busulwa        225
Omar Mayanja      200
Jas Mangat           180

2021 MXOAN- Zambia ready to assault Africa from Uganda

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ZAMBIA has confirmed its participation in the upcoming Motocross of All African Nations Championship (MXOAN), which will be hosted by Uganda on August 6th and 8th at Victoria Race Way Park Garuga.

A team of 30 Zambian riders has signed up to compete in the continental championship, which was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid19 pandemic.

The Zambian team together with their bikes will privately be jetted into the country on the 4th of August,2021.

According to FMU’s vice president motorcycling, Kisitu Mayanja,FIM Africa has already given them a green light to host the event after receiving a report from their director sporting, Tony Rowley who was in the country a week ago.

“Our entries opened on 9th May,2021 closes on 9th of July,2021,and we still expecting more entries,” said Mayanja on phone.

ELIGIBILITY OF RIDERS:
As per supplementary regulations of the event, each country will be allowed to register up to 5 riders in each class for the Championship, designated as official riders, in
the championship by their Federation.

Riders must produce either a Passport or Resident’s Permit as proof that they are eligible to compete for their country, with
the approval of their FMN.

Countries are allowed to enter more than 5 riders in each class, but on the understanding that only the five designated
riders entered, will be classified as official participants for the team results. If more than 8 countries enter, countries MAY be asked to reduce team entries.

Meanwhile the Katende Brothers were in Kenya last weekend preparing selves for the continental race. We can assure you that Kenya is also arranging to make sure they bring a big team for the continental event.

We shall keep you posted: credit to FMU media, Frank Sserugo, Aaron Nsamba

Guy Botterill withdraws from Safari

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2021 African Rally Championship (ARC) frontrunner Guy Botterill has withdrawn from the 2021 WRC Safari Rally (24 – 27 June).
Multiple time South African rally champion Guy Botterill and his co-driver Simon Vacy – Lyle have withdrawn from next months WRC Safari rally to concentrate on the ARC and South African championship (SARC).


Speaking to Hapasports Robert Nkolo, Guy Botterill said that “calendar changes in the SA rally championship and closeness to the next ARC round in Tanzania has forced them to skip the Safari Rally as there would not be enough time between the two events to rebuild the car before ARC Tanzania”.


The Toyota Gazoo SA and Wild Cat racing driver added that since the Safari Rally does not count towards either the ARC or SARC, they are having to prioritize the championships they are participating in. Guy, went ahead to wish all those taking part in the Safari luck and hoped that they would participate in next year’s Safari.

Not the news we wanted to hear that we will be missing this team and car, as many were looking forward to seeing how they performed against some of the best drivers and cars in the world.

Seven Ugandan crews to grace WRC Kenya safari rally

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As the most prestigious event returns to African continent where its been absent for over 19 years, seven Ugandan crews have already registered to be part of history in WRC Kenya Safari Rally, and ready to rub shoulders with top world’s best drivers.

Jas Mangat Singh co-driven by Joseph Kamya in the Mitsubishi Evo x, will lead the squad to Nairobi where he has been a regular contender on the African rally championship rounds, scooping several podiums as the latest came in ARC Equator rally where he finished 3rd in April 2021.

Amaanraj Rai in the Ford fiesta R5 is fully expected, this time round switching the co-driver from Slovenia’s Vili Oslaj to he sat with in Equator rally, to Kenyan Gugu Paneasar once a former co-driver to Jaspreet Chatteh.

Uganda’s 2019 champion crew of Yassin Nasser / Ali Katumba in the Subaru GVB is among the seven man squad that will feature in the event.

Other drivers are Ronald Ssebuguzi / Anthony Mugambwa who have not crossed the finishing line in the last two attempts made from 2019 WRC candidate and ARC Equator rally events.

Kepher Walubi /Kyambadde Siraj is another crew expected for the show down in Naivasha.
After missing out on ARC Equator rally, Hassan Alwi JR. is coming back in action with a Subaru N14 with yet an unknown co-driver.

Mubiru Duncan / Musa Nsubuga, the Subaru GVB crew will return to Naivasha with a point to prove after a disappointing ARC Equator rally.

Rajiv Ruparelia / Enoch Olinga is another crew expected to drop in the entry, and if the VW polo driver beats the deadline, he will carry the tally to eight crews.

Uganda’s flag has always been raised in WRC safari rally Kenya, and the last Ugandan to participate in this prestigious event was the 1999 African champion, the late Muhangi Charles in 2002, driving a Subaru A8 despite retiring on stage 8 with a broken driveshaft ending his rally prematurely.

The WRC safari rally Kenya will run from 24-27th June in Nairobi and Naivasha counties.

MX riders gear up for MXOAN after a successful 2nd round of the national championship

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Through FMU, the national motorcross championship round two was successfully held on the weekend of May 16th at Garuga Victoria Raceway Park, and all riders showed that they are ready for the upcoming MXOAN event in August.

The DVP Motorcycling Kisitu Mayanja congratulated the participants and organizers (SMOC) for putting on a good scientific case, but one Ron Young was injured after crashing during one of the day’s hits.
After an operation, Ron was admitted to the hospital and later discharged; he is expected to recover and return soon.

Pertaining the merger of the MAU faction with the federation for the upcoming MXOAN event as one and stronger team, DVP Motorcycling Kisitu Mayanja stated that the door is open to anyone who wants to return as long as all MAU riders have valid competition licenses.

Fatuh Kigundu dominated the MX2 class at the Lato milk sponsored event over the weekend, winning all three hits, followed by Rinaldo Milleti and Paddy Rodin Blick.

Other categories also went as follow
Mx50 Junior
1st Abigail Katende
2nd Faith Deedan

Mx50 Junior Ladies
1st Abigail Katende
2nd Faith Deedan

Mx50 Senior
1st Filbert Muwonge
2nd Ethan James Blick
3rd Jamairah Makumbi

Mx50 Senior Ladies
1st Jamairah Makumbi

Mx65
1st Miguel Katende
2nd Jonathan Katende
3rd Mubarak Senoga

Mx85
1st Jerome Mubiru
2nd Ahmed Ntege
3rd Nathan Bahire

Mx125
1st Kylan Wekesa
2nd Milton Obote Akena
3rd Jonathan Wejuli

Mx1
1st Alistair Arthur Blick
2nd Sam Foreman
3rd Jovan Semambo

Mx Vets
1st Christian Milleti
2nd Kenneth Ndahura

Mx Masters
1st. Cymon Charnley

Let-out test footage of Toyota’s Rally1 car with boom sound

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Toyota’s WRC team has made a significant advancement in the construction of their new vehicle.

This weekend, Toyota tested the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 in Central Finland, with the team planning to compete in the World Rally Championship from next year.
Along with the internal combustion engine, future Rally1 cars will have a hybrid unit. Toyota had previously appeared in a Rally1 test in France, but the team did not use a hybrid vehicle.
According to information obtained by Rallit.fi, the hybrid device was planted in GR Yaris for the first time in this weekend’s drill. The research was done by Juho Hänninen, the team’s test pilot.

Test video Toyota Rally1

Of the other WRC teams, Hyundai released the first pictures of their Rally1 car tests earlier on Sunday. Hyundai went this week to perform its first decent test in France.

Hyundai released the first images of their 2022 Rally1 car in testing.

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Hyundai Motorsport has completed the first test of its latest hybrid-era vehicle in southern France.

The three-day test on rugged gravel roads concluded yesterday (Saturday), and it came after the prototype’s first roll-out at a private facility in Germany.

The Rally1 car for 2022 is based on Hyundai’s i20 N road vehicle, and work has been focusing on collecting data from all areas in preparation for further testing on various surfaces at locations around Europe.

The FIA World Rally Championship will launch a new generation of hybrid cars next season, with all top-level cars equipped with a powertrain that includes an electric motor and a current combustion engine.

While lead drivers Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak signed new multi-year contracts with the team earlier this month, Hyundai has not announced who was behind the wheel during testing.

Andrea Adamo, the team’s principal, said it was thrilling to embark on such a new adventure.

“Taking a car out on the road for the first time is a remarkable moment, and there are still some hurdles to overcome,” he said.

“We saw some interesting stuff during last week’s session, some of which need to be modified and strengthened, but it’s all part of the process and work.

“The Hyundai Motorsport team has done an incredible job in preparing the car for the first test in such a short period of time.”

In recent weeks, Hyundai’s WRC competitors have also made significant strides with their hybrid-era vehicles.

Will Logan Project Return Ivorian Rallying to World Class Status?

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Project logan Fleet

Since the Rallye Bandama lost its status as a WRC round in 1992. Rallying in the Ivory Coast has slowly but steadily declined from being one of the leading rally nations in Africa to its lowly status right now.

Gone are the days when a mere mention of the Bandama Rallye brought both dread and excitement to competitors and fans alike.

In its heyday, the Rallye Bandama attracted competitors from a dozen countries including the world’s best drivers and cars yet in the last several decades this has fallen off sharply and despite being part of the African Rally championship – very few foreign drivers have come to compete at the Bandama Rallye.

Several factors including but not limited to the increasing cost of motor rallying, the economic decline of the country, civil war and a lack of government support all fueled this decline and despite of several promises to provide help – the Ivorian government has remained noticeably absent leaving the Federation of Ivorian Sports Automobile on its own as it attempts to return Ivorian rallying back to its glory days.

Project Logan Trophy is an initiative of the Federation of Ivorian Sports Automobile (FISA) and SOCIDA (a Renault car dealer) with the sponsorship of Bolloré.

Similar to the young driver development programs that kick-started the careers of Sebastián Loeb, Sebastian Ogier, and Ott Tanak, the project which will run for four years intends to find, groom, and mentor young drivers and hopefully turn some of them into world-beaters while at the same time reviving the sport in this West African Nation.

Five identical Renault rally cars that will be used for this project have been acquired by the project’s organizers. Four of the cars will be given to four young talents to compete with and the fifth car will be used for training and to identify the next generation of up-and-coming drivers.

The federation believes such initiatives will attract the government’s attention, plus mega-companies to inject sponsorship into Motorsports for the game to arise to where it was in the 80s as FISA starts the campaign to lobby Bandama Rallye back to the world calendar of WRC.

Tundo flashes brutal ARC Equator rally as Baldev, Onkar and Guy frustrated

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Debuting a VW Polo R5 offered to him four days prior to the event, Kenyan safari rally multiple champion Carl “flash” Tundo co-driven by Tim jessop outclassed all his competitors, to win the 2nd round of African rally championship over the weekend.

With a well organised event from start to end,the 2021 Equator rally precasor to WRC safari rally set for June, left many participating crews wanting,with many having their earlier intentions shattered,as their machines couldn’t move.

Tundo stepped on the pedals of the Polo R5, to post the quickest times throughout the 10 out of 11 competitive stages making it 02:34:08 total time to beat Tejveer Rai and Uganda’s Jas Mangat who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

“Had it not been for Onkar Rai snatching the Kedong stage, I would have won all the 11 stages. I drove the last loop like a granny.
“The new car is fantastic. I was able to adapt to new conditions. It’s always good to know the roads and know what we have to tackle. But obviously, WRC guys are in a different league, so we’ll just be fighting among ourselves at the back,” Tundo said.

Baldev Chagger of team kabras and one of the predicted event winner, lusted for only three stages and retired in Elementaita the 4th stage of day 1 with a double puncture, only to return on day two for rally 2.

Soouth African Guy Botterill who entered this event leading the championship, was troubled on day one in sleeping warrior stage 1 with turbo issues, though later fought back on day two, only to loose the rally in the last stage as the crew was time bad due to failure of fixing clutch on time. To this reason the BMT crew and Wildcat Racing team had to be excluded from the rally.

Other big names of casualties were Onkar Rai who also dropped out in stage 4, Ian Duncan in the Nissan 240RS sponsored by Minti Motorsport retired after completing sleeping warrior 1, and a number of Ugandans like Mubiru Duncan, Ronald ssebuguzi, Amaanraj Rai and Kepher Walubi had a bad memorable event.

Equator rally was the 2nd round of the African rally championship after round 1 in Ivory coast from 2020. The next round will go to Tanzania on July 23-25 before Uganda in August 20-23rd.