Former national champion Giancarlo Davite has joined the growing list of foreign drivers that will be battling it out at this year’s Safari Rally Kenya next month.
The development was confirmed to this publication by Sylvia Vinevogel, Davite’s navigator, on Thursday, revealing that the crew returns to the race in a Mitsubishi EVO X.
Schedule for July 5-7, Kenya’s Safari Rally is the fourth event on the FIA Africa Rally Championship (ARC) this year after Rallye Bandama of Ivory Coast, York Rally of South (formerly Sasol Rally), and the Gomes Zambia International Rally.
Davite is no stranger to Safari Rally, having participated in the Kenya’s biggest motorsport race five times with his best result being a 9th position finish in 2004. He finished 11th three years later before settling for 15th in 2010.
According to reports from Kenya, a bumper is expected by the time the final entries for the iconic event are confirmed on June 19.
ARC defending champion Manvir Baryan, a Kenyan, and Zambia Rally ace Leroy Gomes are the pre-race favourites.
Three-time Uganda Rally champion Ronald Ssebuguzi is also back, and will partner with Leon Ssenyange in an Evolution 10. Defending champion Carl Tundo will also be competing.
One of the youngest drivers in the line-up is Kenya’s McRae Kimathi, 24, in a Mitsubishi EVO X. He made his Safari debut in 2016 before his car succumbed to mechanical problems. He is also a consistent autocross participant.
Kasarani Stadium will play host to the first competitive stage of the event, A super Special Stage of 4.3km within the vicinity of the stadium and the starting ramp will curtain raise the Safari Rally 2019.
This round of the ARC series will run as candidate rally for the World Rally Championship (WRC) with the noble objective to return to the global stage next year.