Drivers gear up for weekend's KCB Nakuru Rally

By samson ateka
Aug 31, 2021
  • Tapio Laukkanen will be one of the drivers tackling the KCB rally at the weekend.

Dozens of 'fast and furious' cars including Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, Subaru Imprezas and Porsches will rev-off from Nakuru town centre on Saturday morning for the seventh and penultimate round of the Kenya National Rally Championship 2015.

The ceremonial flag off will be done outside KCB Menengai branch in Nakuru. After the flag off, rally cars will then tackle eight competitive stages around Alfega, T Farm, Molosirwa, Gicheha Farm, Hilltop regions.

The spectator stage, Rally HQs and Service Park will be centred at Albiza Camp (Menengai) near Sobea.

Youngster McRae Kimathi who retired with an engine gremlins on his KNRC debut in Machakos will be among the drivers. The son of retired rally driver Phineas Kimathi has entered a Subaru Impreza GC8 and will be navigated by George Mwangi who incidentally is the only black indigenous African to win the Safari Rally when he guided Azar Anwar to the memorable feat in 2006.

The 2WD category has attracted quite a big chunk of Toyotas including RunX machines of leader Eric Bengi and Sammy Nyorri, the Corolla RSI of defending champion Leonardo Varese and the Sprinter GT of Alex Lairang'i.

Also, 2WD's Gurmit Thethy hopes to take the fight to Toyota drivers in his VW MK3 which is one of the few remaining racing cars of the historic car make in Kenya.

Nyorri has aways savoured the rivalry in the category which first began with former champion Dennis Mwenda and rose a notch higher to Bengi.

Mwenda who won the 2WD championship in 2013 in Lairang's current Toyota Sprinter GT has since graduated to KNRC Division 2 in an ex-Issa Amwari Evo9 owned and serviced by Silverspread Team Meru.

Female competitors enlisted

Natasha Tundo, who will be navigated by Chantal Louis Young in the Rally Chix Subaru N10, and Tuta Mionki who will team-up with Murage Waigwa in a Subaru GC8, are among the female competitors enlisted for Nakuru Rally which was won by Frank Tundo in 1978.

The competiton which starts at 7 a.m. has attracted Kenya's 'big guns' and foreigners who include two times Uganda champion Jas Mangat.

Manvir Baryan teaming up with Drew Sturrock of Britain in the state of the art Ford Fiesta R5, Rajbir Rai in a similar make, newly crowned African champion Jaspreet Chatthe (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) are some of the drivers.

Others are Ian Duncan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10), Carl 'Flash' Tundo (Evo10), Quentin Mitchell (Skoda Fabia 2000) and Finland's Tapio Laukkanen in a Subaru Impreza R4 in this event organised by Rift Valley Motor and Sports Club.

Chatthe who has clung to the KNRC summit for most of the season with stellar performance that saw him clinch th African Rally Championship in Uganda at the weekend, will be declared the new Kenya rally champion if he finishes Nakuru Rally in 8th overall.

Murage Waigwa who leads Group S Class is optimistic of a good performance against Chandrakhant Devji "Chandu" of Kisumu, James Kirimi and Nairobi's Hussein Malik.

“After rolling in Eldoret, our strategy will be to finish all events and claim KNRC Group S championship,” Murage said.

Oilibya Racing's Farhaaz Khan who won KNRC Division 1 class after finishing 13th overall in Eldoret, Pavit Kenth and Jansher Sandhu will be the youngsters to watch.

KNRC Division Two has attracted the likes of Asad Khan "Kalulu" and Dennis Mwenda. Bengi who won both the 2WD and Division 2 in Machakos has since backed off from his fast and furious antics and preferred to salvage championship points.

"After retiring in Voi, we assessed our risks and evaluated the capability of the car. It was important for us to score some points in the remaining events after the mishap in Voi and I'm happy we have our lead back," said Bengi.