BangBet Revs Up WRC Safari Rally with Josiah Kariuki and John Ngugi


As the anticipation for the WRC Safari Rally Kenya reaches a crescendo, all eyes are on the dynamic duo, Josiah Kariuki and John Ngugi, poised to roar through the rugged terrains of Naivasha. Behind the wheel of the ex-Don Smith FIA Africa Rally Championship-winning car, adorned in vibrant BangBet livery, Kariuki and Ngugi epitomize the spirit of African motorsport, fueled by passion, perseverance, and the unwavering support of their sponsor.

Navigator John Ngugi, hailing from a lineage steeped in rally heritage, exudes confidence as he gears up for the exhilarating challenge ahead. With meticulous preparation and the addition of Don Smith’s seasoned mechanics to their team, Ngugi is upbeat about their prospects in this year’s Safari Rally. “We have assembled a formidable team, armed with expertise and experience. The stages pose a formidable challenge, but we are ready to conquer them,” remarks Ngugi, his eyes gleaming with determination.

The journey for Kariuki and Ngugi hasn’t been without its share of trials. In their debut appearance in the 2021 WRC Safari, a minor setback during scrutineering dashed their hopes of competing. Undeterred, they returned in 2022 with the ex-Waita Nzioka2 Subaru Impreza N14, marking a significant milestone in their rallying odyssey. Now, with the support of BangBet for the second consecutive year, they are poised to make their mark on the fabled Safari Rally.

“For us, rallying is more than just a sport; it’s a passion, a pursuit of excellence,” reflects Kariuki. “And having BangBet by our side, backing our endeavor, is truly a game-changer. Their unwavering support empowers us to push boundaries and chase our dreams.”

The BangBet-sponsored car, meticulously prepared to tackle the rigors of Safari, underwent rigorous scrutiny at the Wildlife Research & Training Institute in Naivasha. Under the watchful eyes of technical delegate Musa Locho, every bolt, every component was scrutinized, ensuring optimal performance and safety on the demanding course.

For Ngugi, rallying runs in his blood. The son of the late John Ngugi Senior, a revered rally driver in the 1990s, he carries forward his father’s legacy with pride and determination. “To follow in my father’s footsteps is both an honor and a responsibility,” shares Ngugi. “His passion for rallying ignited mine, and I am grateful for the opportunity to honor his memory on the Safari stage.”

As Ngugi navigates the adrenaline-fueled twists and turns of Naivasha, he joins a cohort of second-generation drivers, each with their own tales of legacy and ambition. From Carl “Flash” Tundo, son of rally stalwart Frank Tundo, to Oliver Solberg, scion of a World Rally Champion, these drivers embody the rich tapestry of motorsport heritage, weaving together past, present, and future on the iconic Safari Rally stage.

In the heart of this pulsating motorsport saga lies BangBet, not just a sponsor but a steadfast partner in the pursuit of sporting excellence. Their commitment to grassroots motorsport and community development resonates deeply with Kariuki, Ngugi, and the entire rallying fraternity. As they rev up their engines for the Safari Rally, Kariuki and Ngugi carry with them the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of a nation, fueled by the unwavering support of BangBet and the enduring spirit of African motorsport.

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