Hyundai’s Rally Star Esapekka Lappi ready to conquer Kenya once again

By Timothy Albrite

Ahead of the much anticipated Safari rally commencing on Thursday, March 28th, Caetano Kenya, the official dealer of Hyundai in Kenya, orchestrated a captivating press briefing featuring Esapekka Lappi, a rally driver for the Hyundai Motorsport team.

Hyundai Motorsport’s consecutive rally wins this season are making waves. Their determination to maintain the winning streak has fans hooked. The Finnish driver Esapekka Lappi won Rally Sweden for Hyundai’s second success in two rounds this season and his first since 2017.

Speaking with Autonews at the Caetano Hyundai Kenya offices on Sunday, Lappi radiated confidence as he prepared to confront the challenges of the upcoming rally once again. 

Having debuted in Kenya last year, Lappi revealed his preparation regimen, which included studying rally footage and refining his skills across various terrains.

Last year Hyundai encountered issues with some parts of their car, such as the camshaft and snorkel, causing the team to embark on a rigorous troubleshooting process. Lappi emphasized the importance of the snorkel, stating that it will be crucial in case it rains although it will marginally compromise on power.

With meticulous analysis conducted by the workshop experts, Hyundai is poised for a seamless performance at the rally. 

“There are a few changes to the setup. The workshop guys have done a lot to analyze, investigate, and ensure the car is good. The choice of tires will be crucial because of the expected rains”, said Lappi.

The team is prepared to adapt, switching between soft and hard compounds based on the road conditions, rallying with soft tires if it rains and hard tires in case it dries up.

Ken Ouko, the Sales and Marketing Director of Hyundai Kenya, underscored the rigorous testing that rally conditions impose on vehicles, serving as the ultimate litmus test for endurance, performance, and reliability. Ouko confidently asserted that Hyundai’s rally-proven technology seamlessly translates into their passenger vehicles, ensuring unparalleled quality and dependability. 

“What sets Hyundai apart is our unwavering commitment to quality and reliability shared with our friends over at Hyundai Motorsports. The engineering prowess of the Hyundai i20 N WRC is not just confined to the rally track, it trickles down to every Hyundai product ensuring you get a car that can tackle Kenya’s toughest terrains with ease.”

Looking ahead, Ouko teased enthusiasts with Hyundai’s forthcoming releases, including the new Santa Fe, Palisade, and Tucson. Among these, the revamped Santa Fe steals the spotlight, boasting enhanced technology, engine performance, and the practicality of a seven-seater SUV.

With Lappi’s determination and Hyundai’s commitment to quality, the stage is set for an exhilarating rally experience. 

As the countdown to the intensifies, enthusiasts can anticipate a thrilling showcase of skill and speed, with Hyundai leading the charge into the heart of adventure.

Click here to access the full list of stages & timings to guide you as you head to Naivasha for the rally.

6 Replies to “Hyundai’s Rally Star Esapekka Lappi ready to conquer Kenya once again”

  1. What happened to chase cars? They used to make the event very enjoyable, I remember in 1981 in makueni a place called usi nene in Makaa subcounty those days was a location, waiting for jogider singh a replica of his car arrived every body was like dereva mashuhuri ameingia only to find was a chase car, plz bring them back

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