Striving for success in WRC Safari Rally Kenya
After the success of two back-to-back double podiums and a 1-2 in Sardinia, we head to the third continent of the season for the notoriously difficult Safari Rally Kenya.
With only one podium to our name at the event, we are determined to extend our silverware-streak in Kenya next weekend (June 22-25).
“We are excited for this one; we want to have a Safari Rally Kenya to remember,” said Cyril, our Team Principal. “The podium is the minimum target for us; we are starting to pull back the gap to our competitors, but we cannot afford to lose our momentum or our focus.”
With 60 years of rallying history, including an appearance in the WRC’s inaugural season, Safari Rally Kenya holds a lot of heritage.
The gravel surface is unlike any other on the calendar, with the infamous fesh-fesh sand and treacherous rocky stages creating a uniquely challenging environment. Some sections need to be taken at a crawl to survive – there is no room for a constant flat-out approach.
“Kenya is an adventure,” says Thierry. “It is a tough event and very challenging because we are driving through the middle of the parks and the countryside, where there are some very rough sections with sand and fesh-fesh.”
Returns and debuts
Two of our crews have contested in Kenya before, but for our Finns, it’s a brand-new challenge. Dani returns after only one previous entry under the Kenyan sun.
“Safari Rally Kenya is a nice experience; I have only done it once before, but the stages are quite different – especially with the animals around and the fesh-fesh sand, which we know can be tricky,” said Dani. “The goal for the weekend is to fight for the podium and hopefully for another team victory.”
Esapekka and Janne will head into the unknown this weekend. With plenty of experience on gravel, they are hoping for a successful first performance.
“It’s harder work than normal to prepare for Safari Rally Kenya,” explains Esapekka. “I’ve watched as many onboards as possible to understand how you should drive on each of the specific areas. Every rally we need to set the target of a podium now: we know the speed is there so that has to be our goal.”
Safari Rally Kenya will take place from June 22-25.
Have a look at our event page for more details