By Erick Ochieng’

Reigning Car Class Champion Nish Lakhani Shazar Anwar is looking forward to the forthcoming 2013 Ganatra/JCB National Rally Raid Championship Round One with great expectations.

Rajesh Maini, who is renewing his rivalry with Lakhani in his Range Rover 4×4 contraption, is leaving nothing to chance as the Rally Sports Club (RSC)- organised event nears.

At the moment, no one knows what is up their sleeves, but this should be known at Mount Kenya Leisure Lodge in Naro Moru which hosts the event’s start, finish and prize giving on February 9-10 event.

New competitors and cars are expected in the event that has seen JCB country agents — Ganatra Plant & Equipment Limited — back as official sponsors for the Raid season.

While Lakhani will be going for a record four Car Class Championship titles, Shazar— son of three times former Kenya Rally champion Azar Anwar— has a benchmark for an unprecedented six championship wins.

Fourth Title

Lakhani said: “I’m looking forward to this season and gunning for our fourth title. We are using the same car (Land Rover High-Breed) with a few changes we have made. I have done some rallies together with my partner and we are gelling much better. The Sport (Rally Raid) is growing fast and there are a number of new cars coming in, so we expect it to be more competitive with lots of fun.”

Maini said: “We are rushing to finish our car for next weekend. I’m looking forward to renewing our rivalry with Lakhani besides competing against the newcomers. RSC have had a penchant for venturing into new territories and this time round, the attraction is on foothills of Mount Kenya.

According to RSC Chairman Dave Macharia, the new route is totally different, being in a set up devoid of rocky stretches but with quite a number of rough patches and fast sections.

The event will feature two stages. The first stage on Saturday has a short curtain-raising 30km drive around the scenic Naro Moru terrain. Sunday will see competitors embark upon a 46km stage.

Scrutineering for each category will take place on Saturday February 9 from 9am to 12:30pm at Mt Kenya Leisure Lodge. Late Scrutineering may be allowed but must be arranged with the Technical Stewards.

Competitors must present helmets, protective clothing, medical kits, safety blankets and documents for inspection at scrutineering.

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Courtesy of Standard Digital News

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