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Top British rally expert to train officials ahead of 2019 Safari Rally

In Summary

• Sanders will hold a 3-day seminar from June 19 to 21 for top rally officials who will officiate during the event.

• Early this week, the WRC Promoter experts Briton Iain Campbell and Jarmo Lehtinen of Finland spent a week going through the 2019 WRC Candidate Event Safari rally.

Sue Sanders
Sue Sanders
Image: FILE

Sue Sanders, a top global training expert on safety for the FIA, will be in Nairobi to conduct a seminar for marshals and top officials who will officiate the 2019 WRC Candidate Event Safari Rally, the event’s clerk, of course, Gurvir Bhabra has announced.

Sanders, also the training manager of Motor Sports Association the United Kingdom, will hold a 3-day seminar from June 19 to 21 for top rally officials who will officiate during the event.

The FIA and WRC Promoter have put premium attention to the safety of competitors and spectators. She will pay attention to decision making, communication, contingency planning.

Sanders conducted detailed training for motorsport officials from the East African region two years ago in Kigali Rwanda including Kenyans but this is the first time she will be in Kenya.

In Rwanda, she focused on incidents management process involving drivers and spectators and how to use proper communication skills to make an international event successful.

Early this week, the WRC Promoter experts Briton Iain Campbell and Jarmo Lehtinen of Finland spent a week going through the 2019 WRC Candidate Event Safari rally and reviewed the proposed itinerary for 2020 fully fledged World Rally Championship Safari Rally in Nairobi, Nakuru and Baringo.

Campbell, who is also the clerk-of-course for WRC Welsh Rally GB, said they were impressed with the rally route that has been reviewed and made tighter and tougher to test drivers’ skills.

Lehtinen, co-driver for former world championship driver Mikko Hirvonen with 15 WRC victories under his belt, said modern-day WRC cars are extremely fast and drivers fabulously talented.

“When left on the loose, they will comfortably take sweeping corners sideways on the sixth gear in speeds exceeding 160kph. Both they need to be tamed in Kenya,” he noted.

The Safari will be observed by many foreign experts from the FIA including the safety delegate Michelle Mouton, third in 1983 WRC Safari. She was here in April and drove through the route where she suggested changes to make it tougher for drivers.

“Just ensure to organise the best Africa Championship Safari Rally ever in July,” said Lehtinen. They will be back during the Safari week which begins on July 2 2019.

The main event will start on July 5 in the 4.5km super special stage at Kasarani Stadium, where over 30,000 spectators are expected. Cars will head to Naivasha via Thika Road/Kenyatta Road all the way to Gatamaiyo forest before heading to Naivasha.