The gears are fully in as the Africa Rally Championship round; the Equator rally rolled off in Naivasha, Kenya with 32 crews taking part in opening day’s events.
19 ARC crews raced through the 5.40km qualifying Loldia stage.
Onkar Rai in a VW polo set the fastest time of 4 mins and 15.2 seconds.
Karen Patel was 4 seconds slower with Carl Tundo setting the third fastest.
The non-ARC crews were also put to the shakedown.
Remarkably, the ARC crews had to choose their starting positions with priority given to qualifying stage leaders.
Onkar Rai chose to start in eighth position while Karan Patel chose fifth and Carl Tundo seventh.
Baldev ‘Boldy’ Chager, who is a non-ARC contender will boldly take on the lead roll. He will go first on the road followed by Eric Bengi.
Uganda’s Duncan Mubiru who is a crowd favourite in Kenya will set off third.
Crews are set to cover six stages on Saturday covering total competitive distance of 131.96kilometres.