Safari Rally is such a sensational sport in Kenya.
The season attracts several rally drivers and many Kenyan enthusiasts, not forgetting the icing on the cake; the jokes on social media regarding Subaru cars and the mischief attendees engage in.
Kenya hosts Safari Rally championships every year, quite a sports phenomenon that unites Kenyans and makes them forget about their problems for a while.
If you love Safari Rallies, not just as a sport but are also willing to participate, this guide will share all the information you need as a starter in the adrenaline sport.
Don’t forget that Safari Rally is a risky sport hence the need to convince yourself that it is the right thing to do.
Learn the sport’s requirements, estimated beginner costs, Kenyan rally schools, and more.
What are the Requirements for Joining Safari Rally?
The most accomplished rally drivers in Kenya and the world had a starting point, so the foundation matters.
Below are key pointers to building a successful Safari Rally career:
- You need a driving license, but even without one, you can opt to train as a marshal and timekeeper, among other roles associated with Safari Rally.
- Network with other passionate rally drivers to get first-hand insights and advice regarding the sport. A car club is a great place to start for exposure and other opportunities.
- Enrol in a Safari Rally school for comprehensive training on rallies. Several Kenyan rally schools mentor and train aspiring drivers, such as Kenya Motorsport Federation, Abdul Sidi Rally Academy in Ngara, East African Safari Rally Ltd. in Karen and Heltz Driving School.
- Choose a Safari Rally car among models like Toyota, Hyundai, Subaru, and Ford. Select a car that doesn’t intimidate you but one that you can easily maneuver in. You can upgrade your safari rally beginner car when it feels necessary. Choose an experienced mentor who can help you to pick a suitable car.
- Work on your license from Kenya Motor Sport Federation, attend pre-rally events, ensure you meet safety obligations and observe other regulations, and start participating in rally competitions.
How Much Does it Cost to be a Rally Driver?
Becoming a rally driver can be costly to beginners with a limited budget.
The costs range from car expenses to licensing fees and entry fees.
You need not less than Ksh1 million to kick start your safari rally profession.
An example of a safari-compatible car you can purchase is the Subaru Impreza going between 500,000 and 800,000.
Additionally, you will need to cough out at least 200,000 as a licensing fee.
To participate in rallies, you must dig deeper into your pockets and pay Ksh. 14,000.
Your car will also need maintenance occasionally, yet another expense you should keep up with to avoid mechanical issues before or during racing.
Other expenses to consider include motor insurance, accommodation, and meals for the rally duration.
How do you qualify for and join WRC?
WRC is a global competition attracting qualified and experienced drivers from all over the world.
It takes hard work and years of practice to secure a slot at the WRC.
You must meet a set of general qualifications for eligibility to participate in the global-scale competition.
You should meet the following requirements:
- WRC license: In addition to obtaining a license from Kenya’s relevant body, you also need another license from the universal licensing body alias Federation Internationale de Automobile. FIA issues WRC licenses to drivers with a history of participating in competitions.
- Experience is paramount: Joining WRC as a driver with significant or measurable rallying background is easier. Take Kenyan rally tournaments seriously, as they will help you rise through the ranks and earn you a spot in WRC.
- Have a support system: Participating in rallies, as you will come to notice, is not a one-person show. The WRC standards expect you to have a co-driver, a mechanic, and other resources to help you pull off a successful rally.
- Register for a WRC competition: After meeting the above requirements, you can register and participate in various WRC events worldwide.
How much does it cost to enter a WRC rally?
The cost of joining WRC rallies is dependent on a few things, like the location the event is set to take place, the championship category, and the type of car used.
A WRC car may cost you more than Ksh 2 million.
Putting up a strong WRC team and considering all the costs involved (accommodation, entry fee, insurance, etc.) may amount to Ksh100 million or more.