Wed 22 Jun 2022

WRC2 star Kajto set for African debut

Škoda Fabia Rally2 driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz tops the WRC2 entry list on his Safari Rally Kenya debut this week (23 - 26 June).

The Pole will realise a lifelong ambition when he starts the Naivaisha-based fixture on Thursday afternoon. But, as well as crossing an item off of his bucket list, Kajetanowicz also has the chance to score big. 

He is the highest-placed championship contender on the eight-car entry and, with frontrunners including Andreas Mikkelsen and Yohan Rossel absent, a strong result could move the former European champion into the championship lead. 

Kajetanowicz successfully completed a test session earlier this week and is well aware of the huge challenge that lies ahead. While that test took place in dry conditions, thunderstorms are expected throughout the rally.

“I have always dreamt about driving here and now this dream is coming true,” he said. “It is a bit cooler than I’d expected, but the challenge remains huge. 

“Without a doubt, this is the toughest round of the WRC and probably the biggest challenge is just to reach the finish line. 

“As always, we will do our best to show fast, consistent and effective pace, but I am also aware that luck will play an even bigger part here than in other rallies,” he added.

Sean Johnston also makes his Safari debut with a Saintéloc-prepared Citroën C3 Rally2. The 31-year-old will be hunting for his maiden WRC2 podium alongside co-driver Alex Kihurani, whose father hails from Kenya.

Martin Prokop fields his trusty Ford Fiesta Rally2 after crashing heavily on this event last season, while Fabia pilot Gaurav Gill returns to the series for the first time since Rally Turkey in 2019. 

Zambia’s Leroy Gomes is the only other non-Kenyan driver on the entry and will be co-driven by his wife Urshlla in a first-generation Fiesta R5. Last year’s WRC3 runner-up Karan Patel also drives a similar machine. 

Amanraaj Rai and Aakif Virani round off the field in a pair of similar Škoda cars.

  • Full coverage from Safari Rally Kenya will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM