If Martin Prokop keeps his nose clean in Naivasha in two weeks’ time, he’s a nailed on WRC2 winner at Safari Rally Kenya as he’ll be the only starter after M-Sport and Toksport confirmed their cars won’t journey.
The Czech driver will run his Ford Fiesta Rally2 on the African event, but the expected competition coming from M-Sport and Toksport has now fallen by the wayside.
Andreas Mikkelsen and Marco Bulacia were listed on the entry, but the Rally Italy-incurred damage to their Škoda Fabia Rally2 evos has complicated the German-based team’s logistics.
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson explained Suninen’s absence to DirtFish, saying: “It’s simply the complication of taking more people from the UK to Kenya.
“We need a minimum of five people to run his car and we can’t afford to have those people in quarantine when we come back – not when we need them in the factory getting the cars ready for Rally Estonia.
“Honestly, this is one of the most complicated times I’ve known in more than 40 years in business. We’ve tried looking at this every way, but there’s nothing we can do to get Teemu out there I’m afraid.”
Toksport owner Serkan Duru said last week’s Sardinian event had taken its toll on the Fabias.
“For Andreas, there’s a small snap in the cross at top of the cage,” Duru told DirtFish.
“But for the other car [Bulacia’s] this one rolled two times. We had one roll in the test and another one in the event. There’s no cage damage, but many, many panels are [damaged].
“We prefer to wait,” Duru added. “We have one customer going to Kenya, but it’s a long way to go to have one stone or something like that stop the car. It’s complicated to make them ready – so we will go to Japan instead.”
With three quarters of the four-car WRC2 field gone, Prokop’s Fiesta is a sure-fire winner, providing he can get it through three days in Africa.
He finished fourth in WRC2 on Rally Italy behind Jari Huttunen, Mads Østberg and Bulacia.