The indefatigable trio of Baldev Chager, Karan Patel and Carl “Flash” Tundo are among the Premier Class drivers gearing up for the fifth round of the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) slated for Sunday, August 29.
On the same breath, Eric Bengi, Jasmeet Singh Chana and Issa Amwari shall also resume their hunt for Championship points in the Kenya Motor Sports Club (KMSC) organized round as members of the Premier Class.
Also in the groove is paraplegic driver Nikhil Sachania who makes a celebrated return to the KCB Machakos Rally behind the wheel of a hand-controlled Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX.
Nikhil will renew his rivalry with Mombasa based Paras Pandya in what should be one of the fiercest Mitsubishi Evolution X tussles in search of Division One points.
Paras will steer a Group N Evolution X while the never-say-die Nikhil hopes to ruffle feathers in a similar contraption which is a group N spec “with the only addition of the hand controls and the SST transmission”.
Nikhil’s initial car was a 3-litre V6 Mitsubishi Challenger which was acquired locally and built by his first co-driver Charan Singh.
He would later upgrade to a Fiat Grande Punto S2000 before morphing to a wrung higher with his SPV Championship-winning EvolutionX.
“I must say that all my cars are hand controlled. The operation is a simple ‘push and pull’ lever mechanism. I mean, pull to accelerate and push to brake. I’m really looking forward to Machakos Rally. It has been a while since we had a rally closer to Nairobi. The car is more or less ready. The last rally in Voi was a pretty clean run, so to me, the car is ready for the next one. We are leading the Division (One) and shall extend it in Machakos God willing,” said NIkhil.
In the meantime, Tarmac racer Andrew Muiruri will be tacking his third gravel event while steering an ex-McRae Kimathi Subaru Impreza N12.
Muiruri made his debut on WRC Safari in Naivasha where his Subaru ended up on its roof but nonetheless savored his maiden finish on Voi Rally earlier in the month.
Aakif Virani (Skoda R5) will also be clamouring to garner KNRC points, so is KCB sponsored Chana.
Preparations are in top gear with organizers putting final touches in the event that has captured the imaginations of the events’ enthusiasts.
Reconnaissance is scheduled for Saturday, August, 28 from 0600 – 1700 Hrs while Scrutineering and Documentation is programmed for the same day from 0900 Hrs-1500Hrs at the KMSC Club House in Nairobi’s South ‘’C’’.
Event Director Jim Kahumbura made it clear that there will be no overnight Parc Ferme after scrutineering.
“The competitive Stages for the event will be run on gravel with transport road sections featuring tarmac, broken tarmac and gravel.
Cars will be parked at the Parc Ferme which will be situated at the Service Park in Lisa by 0700Hrs on Sunday, August 29 prior to the start,” said Event Director Jim Kahumbura.
He further compounded that the Competitive Distance will be 146.00 km, liaison distance 60.00 km which totals to 206.00 km.
The longest stage will be 57.00Km with the shortest being 16.0Km.
The event will be run on 100 percent on Private Land at the expansive Lisa Farm with the highlight being the 2021 KNRC for Drivers and Co-Drivers.
The event will also count towards Group N, Division One for Drivers and Division Two, Division Three, Classic Car, Supplementary Class (S), Two Wheel Drive Class (2WD) , Specially Prepared Vehicles Class (SPV) and the Kenya National Rally T4 Cross Country Cars(SSV/UTV)
Championship for Drivers and Co-Drivers.
Caption- Eric Bengi raises the dust during KCB Autocross 5 at Mombasa Cement racetrack in Vipingo last weekend. He will be at it again in Mathckos for the rally this weekend.