Kenya's Baryan To Battle Norway Ace Ostberg For Africa Rally Title

Jan 03 - by Erick Ochieng for sportpesa news

Country will host round four of the continental series on July 6 to 7 that will double up as fifth leg of Kenya National Rally Championship as well as a candidate event for World Rally Championship

Former Citroen and M-Sport factory driver, Mads Ostberg, who won the Portugal Rally Championships in 2012 with a Ford Fiesta in action. PHOTO/Courtesy

  • Baryan is looking forward to defend the continental title for the second time in a row after gauging himself in the Guru Nanak leg of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) series in Athi River, Machakos County last November
  • Ostberg, who has expressed great interest in this year’s ARC, is also a three time Norwegian National Rally Championship winner (2006,2007 and 2008)
  • Legendary rally driver and FIA race Director, Michele Mouton, is expected in the country in coming weeks to inspect the routes that have been earmarked for the candidate rally that will be held on the first weekend of July

NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenya’s Manvir Baryan will be the man to beat in the 2019 FIA African Rally Championship whose first round revs off in Bandama, Ivory Coast, on February 23.

Baryan is looking forward to defend the continental title for the second time in a row after gauging himself in the Guru Nanak leg of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) series in Athi River, Machakos County last November.

“I’m happy that I successfully retained the ARC trophy. I would take a break to recharge then resumes preparations for my title defence with the Guru Nanak rally.

“I look forward to defend the African crown in 2019,” the Multiple Racing Team member told SportPesa News when he was presented with the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya/StarTimes Personality of the Month award for June 2018.

Among those Baryan will battle in the eight-legged season is former Citroen and M-Sport factory driver, Mads Ostberg, who won the Portugal Rally Championships in 2012 with a Ford Fiesta.

Ostberg, who has expressed great interest in this year’s ARC, is also a three time Norwegian National Rally Championship winner (2006,2007 and 2008).

"I will consider any option involving an opportunity to be behind the wheel of a rally car," he underlined.

“Personally, I'm convinced that hosting a top world rally driver like Ostberg is a great opportunity for African teams and events.

“It has a great public relations as well as return on investment value,” Rallying In Africa coordinator, Mark Tufte, underscored.

Kenya has been granted an opportunity by FIA to host round four of the ARC series on July 6 to 7.

The leg is important to the country in that it will count towards the fifth round of KNRC.

World series

The round will also serve as a World Rally Championship (WRC) candidate event ahead of return of the global circuit in the country this year.

Legendary rally driver and FIA race Director, Michele Mouton, is expected in the country in coming weeks to inspect the routes that have been earmarked for the candidate rally that will be held on the first weekend of July.

The Safari Rally, which was launched in 1953 as part of the coronation of the Queen of England was part of the WRC until 2002 before it was dropped from the world series.

“We are aiming to bring back the WRC in Africa. Africa has some great events; the Safari of course but also Rallye Bandama of Ivory Coast and the York Rally of South Africa,” Tufte highlighted.

FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) 2019 Calendar

February 23-24-Rallye Bandama (Ivory Coast)-Round 1

April 27-28-York Rally (South Africa)-Round 2

June 8-9-Zambia International Motor Rally (Zambia)-Round 3

July 6-7-Safari Rally (Kenya)-Round 4

August 3-4: Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (Uganda)-Round 5

September 14-15: Rally of Tanzania (Tanzania)-Round 6

October 5-6: Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally (Rwanda)-Round 7