• Meanwhile, M-Sport Ford will have three cars in the P1 category led by the 2019 world champion Ott Tanak of Estonia, Frenchman Pierre Louis Loubet and Jourdan Serderidis of Greece.
• Three-time European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz returns to Kenya to defend his WRC2 title and keep his world title hopes alive after missing the coveted crown last year in the season-ending WRC Japan.
Toyota Gazoo will be chasing a hattrick of titles at the 70th edition of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally set for next month in Naivasha.
Toyota Gazoo will field four of the 34 drivers enlisted for the event. Gazoo are represented by last year’s Safari Rally winner and reigning FIA World Rally champion Kalle Rovanpera of Finland, eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier of France, Briton Elfyn Evans and Japanese Katsuta Takamoto.
Meanwhile, M-Sport Ford will have three cars in the P1 category led by the 2019 world champion Ott Tanak of Estonia, Frenchman Pierre Louis Loubet and Jourdan Serderidis of Greece. The team has also entered Greek Georgios Vasilakis in a Ford Fiesta R2 in the Rally 2 category.
Hyundai lead driver, Thierry Neuville of Belgium will be joined by Spaniard Daniel Sordo, who came second in Portugal recently, and Esapekka Lappi of Finland, who was third.
Three-time European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz returns to Kenya to defend his WRC2 title and keep his world title hopes alive after missing the coveted crown last year in the season-ending WRC Japan.
Other drivers in the WR2 field are Polish ace Martin Kropkop and Ndenek Jerk in a Ford Fiesta, Daniel Chwist/Kamil Helper (Poland- Ford Fiesta R2) and Swede Oliver Solberg, navigated by Elliot Andrew Edmondson of Great Britain in a Skoda Fabia Evo R2.
Canadians Jason Bailey and James Willets are the new faces in the Rally 3 category in a Ford Fiesta. They will face off against three Kenyan Ford Fiesta R3 youngsters led by McRae Kimathi, who finished fifth in the JWRC last year, Hamza Anwar and Jeremiah Wahome.
They are joined by Diego Dominguez of Paraguay, navigated by Spaniard Rogelio Panate, also in a Ford Fiesta R3.
The Kenyan contingent also has Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan in Ford Fiesta Rally 2, Samman Vohra/Gugu Panesar in Skoda Fabia Evo Rally 2, Aakif Virani/Azhar Bhatti in Skoda Fabia Rally 2, Piero Canobbio /Fabrizia Pons in Hyundai NG i20 Rally 2, Nikhil Sachania/Deep Patel in Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X NR4, Evans Nzioka/Absalom Aswani in Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X NR4, Minesh Rathod/Jamie Mavtavish in Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X NR4, Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop and Josiah Kariuki navigated by John Ngugi.
Rovanpera currently tops the WRC standings with 98 points, 17 clear of his closest challenger Ott Tanak while Ogier is third with 69. They are currently preparing for next week’s Rally Italia Sardegna in Sardinia, Italy.
Safari Rally is the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship and will zoom off at Uhuru Park on June 22, head to the Kasarani Super Special Stage on the same day before embarking on a trip to the Rift Valley for three days of competition.
150,000 people are expected to attend the event, both in Nairobi and Naivasha.