Eric Bengi has lauded the government and the Kenya Motorsport Federation (KMSF) for the chance they have provided for young drivers to draw lessons from top rally drivers as the 2022 WRC Safari Rally draws near.
The former Kenya National Rally Champion in the two-wheel drive category acknowledges there is much to be learned in order to grow rallying in Kenya as well as improve efficiency in the local rally quarters.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, Bengi narrated what he learned from participating in last year’s edition of the WRC Safari Rally and what he hopes the Kenyan contingent can improve on.
“The WRC Championships has brought a lot of learning. The roads were graded to an international level to ensure they are passable and well marked. Secondly, on the side of scrutineering we need to learn about some small things that we need to improve on; they include padding, fuel tank standards as well as car homologation compliance.
“There are also so many things that pertain to safety that we need to strictly adhere to. These are things we need to improve on and get to the required international standards.
“For the competitor, there are so many forms that you need to fill and also follow the timing of various activities to ensure you don’t miss out,” Bengi said.
Bengi noted there have been huge technological advancements that make racing better and safer.
“There is new technology that allows drivers to signal their competitors when they are closer and need to overtake.
“Previously this was done manually and at times would cause accidents, but in this era there is a button that you just press in your car to notify the driver ahead that you’re closer and would want to overtake. This helps in giving way and avoiding collisions that would have previously been caused by blind overtakes.”
Bengi who revealed that he won’t be participating in this year’s WRC Safari Rally expressed optimism in the growth of the local rally noting this year the local drivers will have the opportunity to run on the same WRC Routes but classified locally.
“This year, the organizers have been kind enough to make arrangements to have a national rally run on the same route as that of the WRC. This will give local drivers a better opportunity to learn what it takes to compete on the same route as that of the WRC.
“Compliance requirements have been reduced to the national standards instead of the FIA standards which is a big encouragement to the local drivers.”
The WRC Safari rally 2022 edition revs of on the 23rd of June as Kenyans hope for a better show due to the relaxed covid-19 regulations.