The World Safari Rally Championships was flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sports CS Ambassador Amina Mohammed at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) on June 24.
In a tweet, Waita said that he was forced to make an early exit from the competition after breaking the gearbox. He however wished other drivers well in the remaining five stages.
Among those still in the race is former NTV presenter Laban Cliff Onserio who now works for the Presidental Delivery Unit (PDU).
The race’s leading contestant, Belgian Thierry Neuville crashed out at the Malewa stage on Sunday morning, June 27, after which he announced his retirement.
Earlier, Waita declared that WRC Safari Rally had lived up to its billing and that it lived up to its true nature-unforgiving and no respecter of fame or status.
Despite him crashing out, he described the Kenya Safari Rally as the rally that rules them all. Onkar Rai, Karan Patel and Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo are still in the race at position 8, 9 and 10 respectively
Like most Kenyans, his friend and the Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua was elated to see him participate in the rally.
“Excited to capture my friend rally driver Nzioka Waita in action at the Safari Rally. Go brother go. You make us all proud,” read Mutua’s tweet.
Tejveer Rai, another Kenyan driver crashed out on day two of the World Rally Championship (WRC) on Friday, June 25. He was flown to Nairobi for further assessment after his vehicle nose-dived after rolling severally.
The rally attracted safari rally drivers and sponsors from Kenya and around the world. Kenya’ was represented by a team of 34 drivers and navigators comprising veterans and young drivers seeking to ink their names in the competition.
For the first time, Kenya will be having an all-women team participating in the rally championships.
The competition quickly became a favourite to Kenyans who streamed to Naivasha in numbers to watch the spectre. This, a fete that would see perhaps the biggest traffic snarl-up along the Nairobi-Naivasha Highway.
As a result, Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) asked motorists to use different routes to beat the jam.
Police Inspector-General Hillary Mutyiambai urged motorists attending the Safari Rally in Naivasha to leave early to avoid the traffic. He also called for their cooperation with the police to ease movement in Naivasha.
Sunday, June 27 will be the last day of the four-day World Safari Rally Championships.