By ABDUL SIDI
Thirty-four cars are set to head for the KCB Kisumu Rally this weekend as battle for the championship title intensifies with just two rounds of the Kenya National Rally Championship remaining.
The first part of the programme will kick off tomorrow with the recce of the route and scrutineering of the rally cars.
The details were announced this week at the Jacaranda Hotel, where Iway Communication presented a cheque of Sh5m to the Kenya Motor Sports Federation as part of its continued support for the KCB-sponsored Kenya National Rally Championship series that has been extended to the eighth year.
“We are proud to be associated with the sport which has grown in a big way considering the large number of rally cars and drivers taking part in the sport. We join hands with fellow sponsors like KCB, ICEA Lions and ALS for making the sport glare,’’ said Ken Munyi, Managing Director of Iway Communication.
Also in attendance were senior officials from KCB and KMSF, who included Ngatha Mutungi (KCB Communication & Sponsorship), J.S. Vohra (KMSF Chairman) and Supi Soin (Chairman Rallies Commission) respectively.
Clerk of the Course for the Equator Motor Club, Surinder Thatthi, said his plans were complete and looking forward to receiving drivers for the event to be run around Chemelil and Miwani area.
“The route is complete and should be exciting. The 220km-route is divided into seven competitive stages where spectators can enjoy with ease and fun. Rains are also reported in the area, which could be exciting for the general spectators,’’ said Thatthi.
The rally will start at 7am from the KCB branch in Kisumu before heading for Miwani for the first competitive stage where the first car is expected at 8am. Chemase, which will host the main Service Park, will also witness the final prize ceremony at around 5pm.
Former champions, Ian Duncan and Alastair Cavenagh are missing from the list of the entrants though the likes of Baldev Chager and Carl Tundo are at the forefront considering the stakes for winning the championship are high.
Also missing out of action is Quentin Mitchell who successfully debuted his latest Skoda S2000 rally car in the KCB Safari Rally.
With 54 points lead over Tundo (266pts), and 160 points to score from the remaining two rounds of the series, all Chager (320) has to do is maintain a top-two position in the last two rounds to retain the title even if the former wins the remainder of the events.
In essence, the recently-crowned KCB Safari Rally winner just needs 107 points from the remaining 160 to be crowned national champion for the second year-running.
With the victory in his F2 Class in the KCB Safari Rally, newcomer Eric Bengi (59) has shot up to the second place in the standings where the Toyota RunX driver finds reigning and former F2 champions battling it out to win the crown once again. His rivals include Leonardo Varesse (71), Denis Mwenda 56), Nadeem Kana (56) and Gurmit Thethy (58).
The Classic Cup Class is led by Jonathan Somen (50) in a Ford Escort, while the Porsche 911 of Aslam Khan (40) is in the second place followed by the Datsun 160j of Rob Hellier (31).
New kids on the block, Karan Patel (300), Ronak Shah (250) are the Division Three leaders in their respective Subaru Imprezas. The championship remains wide open between the two, who are split by 50 points with 160 to score from the Kisumu and Guru Nanak Rallies respectively.
It is a two-horse-race in the Division Two Championship with Alasdair Keith (335) and Mahesh Halai (280) fighting it out in their Imprezas.
Duncan Mubiru and Leila Blick Irene are two of the leading drivers from Uganda expected to participate in the penultimate round of the KNRC 2014.
Irene will be the only female competitor expected to tackle the event as a driver in car No 606, a Toyota Allex.
List of Entrants: 1. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (EVOX), 2. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Proton S2000), 3. Rajbir Rai/Timothy Challen (Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX), 4. Jaspreet Chatthe/Dave Sihoka (Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX), 5. Azar Anwar/Julius Ngigi (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO8), 6.
Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Subaru GVB 13), 7. Onkar Rai/Dez Page Moriss (EVOX), 8. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9), 9. Farhaaz Khan/Salim Khan (Subaru N10), 10. Issa Amwari/Job Njiru (EVO9), 11. Duncan Mubiru/Musa Nsubuga (Subaru N16-UG), 12. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Khan (Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX), 13. Steve Mwangi/Steven Nyorri (Subaru N10), 14. Ghalib Hajee/Sinder Sudle (Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX), 15. Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Subaru N12B), 16. Ronak Shah/Riyaz Ismail (Subaru N12B), 17. Jitendra
Dhokia/Bhavin Patel (Subaru N10), 18. Alasddair Keith/Tariq Maliq (Subaru GC8), 19. Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan (Subaru GC8), 20. Edward Maina/John Ngugi (Subaru N10), 21. Dilraj Bhui/Savraj Bhui (Subaru GC8), 22. Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle (Ford Escort MK2), 23. Dennis Mwenda/Edward Njoroge (Toyota Sprinter GT), 24. Hussein Malik/Absalom Aswani (EVO6), 25. Aslam Khan/Imran Khan (Porsche Carrera 911), 26. Eric Bengi/Tony Gikuhi (Toyota RunX), 27. Gurmit Thethy/DP Kalsi (VW Golf MK3), 28. Leonardo Varese/Kigo Kareithi (Toyota Corolla RSI), 29. Nadeem Kana/James Mwangi (Subaru 2WD), 30. Chandrakant Chhabhadia Devji/Jonathan Kosgey (Subaru GC8), 31. Ranjeet Sehmi/Jansher Sandhu (Ford Escort MK1), 32. Nikhil Sachania/Charanjeev Singh (Mitsubishi Challenger), 33. Leila Blick Irene/Aaron Nsamba (Toyota Allex), 34. Nishal Shah/Avhit Bij (VW Golf GTi).
Courtesy of nation.co.ke