BY SAMSON ATEKA
Nanyuki Rally Group (NRG) will be hosting the seventh edition of the Kenya National Autocross Championship at the expansive Migaa estate golf course in Kiambu county this Sunday.
Action starts from 9.30am and there will be continuous heat runs with the mandatory practice lap preceding official four heats up until 4.00pm when
prize giving will be held. Racing machines participating in the race are buggies, rally cars, 4X4 and quads. Among drivers to watch will be karting star Jadini Nzomo, who hopes to showcase his “fearless and flat-out” racing antics on Kiambu gravel. Jadini renews his rivalry with leader Ryan Bailey and the Smith siblings Rio and Sean.
For one, Jadini is excited to race on a circuit that hosted the super-special for the 62nd Safari Rally 2014 last month, over and above picking up
from where he left when the autocross event last visited Athi River portland racetrack. “Standards have been set and sky’s the limit for our team,” quipped
Jadini’s dad Raphael Nzomo. Jadini has been practicing hard every weekend at the track in Jamhuri and his main aim come Sunday is to improve on cornering because he has the
feeling that he’s drifting too much. “At the last race in Athi I set the fastest times, yes, but lost points because I kept hitting pegs. I have been practicing on power cornering, and my Uncle Kimanthi has shown me how to take corners at the right speed and power,” said Jadini, adding: “the Bambino buggy is well tuned as of now and really fast.”
Jadini set some really fast heat times in Athi River last time round and stole the hearts of myriad spectators. But asked what he attributes his high-adrenaline driving off late, he had this to say: “the experience gained from driving go-karts in Solai, Nakuru has come in very handy and makes me very quick. I still compete in Nakuru.”
Jadiini drives for fun, but prodded to explain just where he draws his aspirations from, he said: “If I am really lucky, I will one day race in
the WRC or even the Formula1 because at the moment I am currently racing on asphalt and gravel and I’m enjoying both. My parents have also been very supportive.”
Looking at it on the wider aspect, Jadini reckons that Bambino is a competitive class given the fact that it produces different winners time and time again in race meeting.
“Ryan Bailey, Sean and Rio Smith and Raiyan Ganatra are all very tidy drivers on their driving lines. My style is more rugged but I feel I can pull in surprises on a good day of racing as I am working on improving the areas I have made errors on previously,” said Jadini.
Jadini is calling on more parents to consider getting their kids into motorsport. This is considering the fact that Kenya Motor Sports Federation
has introduced a class for the “diminutives” this season to race on Bambinos.
“It will make them serious in everything they do because it demands a lot of discipline,” said 12-year-old Jadini, who also loves playing football.
Sunday’s autocross has attracted the creme de la creme of circuit racing. All the 5 Bambino drivers are expected to be on the track on Sunday to tussle for points. The 2WD defending non-turbo champion Tejas Hirani will be going for top honours in Round 7 action.
The 2WD turbo class will feature mainly the ‘Attacker’ buggies with leader Hardeep Rehsi, Raaji Bharij and Samir Khan going for top honours.
Others expected in the 2WD turbo class are Shazz Esmail, Lovejyot Singh, Imran Hakada and Nisha Pandya. Nisha is sister to last year’s buggy 2WD
turbo class champion Amit Pandya.
Tejas had one of the most amazing days in his career in the FIA Institute trials in South Africa. One of the classes to watch on Sunday will be the
Bambino Class which started off with three Magi-Bugs earlier in the year and has now grown into five buggies. Bambinos are purpose built machines for the kids with an objective of encouraging the youth to get into motorsports from the age of 10.
Two of the bambino drivers—Sean and Rio—are the children of rally driver Don Smith who currently competes in the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship.
Jadini is another driver whose father is one of Kenya’s top polo player and represents the national polo team.
Raiyan Ganatra is also driving in this newly created championship and his father Altaf has competed many times in Rally Raids and Autocross events.
Current bambino leader is Ryan Bailey whose father is an ex-rally driver and the motor sport personality of the year 1998.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke