Kenya notebook: First contact with Africa

The reconnaissance of the Kenya Rally began with the discovery of roads and landscapes unknown to the drivers currently competing in the WRC.

Published on 23/06/2021 à 09:40

Pierre Tassel

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Kenya notebook: First contact with Africa

Reconnaissance began in Kenya. © L. Rocci

For crews who usually compete in the WRC, the Safari is a total discovery. For each of them, acclimatization to Africa took place as soon as the transfer between Nairobi and Naivasha where the service park is located.

Over these 100 kilometers, they were able to have a first glimpse of the charms of Kenya with omnipresent colors, a population enthusiastic to see the return of rally after 19 years of absence and already superb landscapes. However, they had to leave the “tourist” side of this trip aside to get to the heart of the matter on Monday afternoon with the first reconnaissance kilometers.



This notably allowed them to experiment with fech-fech (in the Power Stage) which is often practiced in rally raid, but not very common in WRC. In this sand as light as flour, the pilots began to think about the best way to approach this event.



The question mark grew further on Tuesday with the discovery of the special stages around the Elmenteita salt lake north of Naivasha, on the road to Nakuru. Competitors have often explained their surprise to find parts that are really very degraded in which they will have to adopt the appropriate rhythm between the attack and the preservation of their equipment.



While they still have a pair of times to go on Wednesday morning, the general tone is positive. No one expects an easy rally and it would not be surprising to see many reversals. The shakedown which will take place this Wednesday afternoon in Kenya (12:01 p.m. in France) will give a first indication of the performance of the cars on this terrain.

Continued to our next episode…

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