The famous “Ladies Luck Rally Team” of Michelle Van Tongeren and Safina Syed Khan is back and ready to contest for glory when the 60th KCB Safari Rally zooms off on June 8 to 10.
The return of multiple winners of the Coupe Des Dames trophy from a long sabbatical break will make this year’s Safari Rally interesting as they battle other female participants at the event.
“It is a good thing because when we were competitively racing, there were no other local women on the scene. It proves that rallying is not a male-dominated sport,” said Michelle.
“We are still seeking sponsorship as it is a very expensive sport and our entry hinges on sponsorship,” said Safina. The two are excited and looking forward to the Diamond Jubilee Safari Rally.
Five all-ladies teams
This year, the Safari will feature a record five all-ladies crew - the Haraka Mamas, Warembo Bila Make Up, the Rally Queens, the KTN crew of Anne Ngugi and Joy Doreen Biria and the Ladies Luck.
A total of 16 female participants will feature in the Safari, including Sylvia Vindevogel of Rwanda who will navigate Giancarlo Davite. Natasha Di Cangio ‘Tash’ will navigate her father Frank Tundo.
Last year, Uganda’s Susan Muwonge became the first African woman to win a national championship when she reigned supreme in the Ugandan National Rally Championship.
In Kenya, ‘Warembo Bila Make Up’, ‘Rally Queens’ and ‘Haraka Mamas’ have won the hearts of many for their flamboyance. Safina last competed in a rally in 2006.
Michelle and Safina have won many trophies together. They won the Coupe Des Dames trophy for five years and finished the Safari Rally for four years.
Entries: Main Group: Peter Horsey/Bella Erskine (EVOX); Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (EVO9); Alsatair Cavenagh/Gavin Laurence (EVO9); Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (EVO9; Giancarlo Davite/Sylvia Vindevogel-UG (Subaru N11); Jas Mangat/Gihan De Silva-UG (Subaru N12); Essa Mohammed/Greg Stead-ZAM (Subaru N12); Azar Anwar/Julius Ngige (EVO8); Baldev S. Chager/Julius Ngige (Subaru N16); Quentin Mitchell/Chris Davis (Subaru N16); Raaji Bharij/Geoff Mayes (EVO9); Imran Mogul/Atul Kochhar (Subaru N10); Izhar Mirza/Zahir Shah (EVO9); Hardeep Rehsi/Ravi Soni (EVO9); Ronald Sebuguzi/Cedric Buzabo-UG (EVO9); Christakis Fitidis-RWD (Subaru); Onkar Rai/Raju Chagger (Subaru N16); Jaspreet S. Chathe/Gugu Panesar (EVO9); Don Smith/Bob Kaugi (Subaru 12); Frank Tundo/Natasha Di Cangio (EVO9); Charles Hinga/Job Njiru (EVO7); Said Hamad/Mutuma Marimba (Subaru N10); Anwar Pandya/Kennedy Masoni (Subaru 10); Ghalib Haji (EVOX); Sudesh Hirani/Adnan Din (Subaru N10); John Nganga/George Njoroge (Subaru N10); Tejvir Rai/George Mwangi (Subaru 16); Ben Muchemi/Evans Mwenda (EVO7); Dr. Ashraf Mohammed/Peter Stone (Subaru); Imran Mughal/Jasneil Ghataure (Subaru); Mital Shah/Ravi Chaniyarra (Subaru N18); Manvir S. Baryan/Denis Giraudet-FR (Subaru); Paras Pandya/Falgun Bhojak (Subaru N10); Farhaaz Khan/Keith Henrie (Subaru N8); Aakif Virani/Azhar Bhatti (Subaru N10); Nzioka Waita/Laban Cliff (Subaru); Harpreet “Hapz” Sagoo/Harvinder Dhanjal (Subaru N11).