Karan Patel racked up his sixth win of the season at the RSC Machakos Rally to cut Jasmeet Chana’s Kenya National Championship lead to 9 points going into next month’s season-closing race in Voi.
Chana savored a 20-point advantage going into the penultimate round at the expansive Lisa Ranch but Karan’s Power Stage win and outright victory saw him rekindle hopes of a maiden title.
Newly crowned African Rally Championship (ARC) Junior Champion Hamza Anwar- better known to Ugandan fans as “Problem Child” -beat Chana to the podium tussle much to his chagrin.
What this means is that Chana must finish in the second posting during next month’s Guru Nanak Rally if Karan wins the Sikh Union-organized season-closer.
Leonardo Varese and his partner Kigondu Kareithi sealed the Kenya National Division Three and Two-Wheel Drive championship titles following their seventh finish of the season in their Toyota Auris.
The Sportpesa Racing Team duo finished the penultimate RSC Machakos Rally in the 10th overall position to achieve the feat.
They had already amassed an unassailable lead in both championships going into Lisa but only needed one more event to attain the much-needed 75% threshold.
Karan’s navigator Tauseef Khan was all smiles but was left to rue their retirement in Bamba last month which handed Chana all the advantage.
“It’s been a good season for us until last month in Bamba where we broke our gearbox. So ,we are here in Lisa with one race to go and we are happy for the win. The stages here were good and more favorable to the R5, quite twisty in a lot of places.
But we weren’t pushing too hard as we just wanted to have a good run and ensure we were ahead in the race,” Tauseef said.
Hamza Anwar on his part said: “We had fun. It’s been a while since we sat with Riyaz (Ismail). Unfortunately, my regular navigator (Adnan Din) could not make it for the race. All in all, Riyaz did well and we got the car back home with some seat time to boot.”
Chana was left to rue sweeping the black cotton Lisa roads: He said: “The championship has become a bit tighter now. Hopefully, let’s see how it goes in Voi. But we will be positive. We will still fight to the very end. Opening the roads was not a very good idea today. We had a lot of animals which we had to stop for. But then again, that’s rallying.”
From the partners Kenya Breweries, Brand Manager Whitecap Abel Ratemo congratulated the winners reassuring their commitment for the remaining final leg and the 2023 season.
“We congratulate the winner Karan his co-driver and the rest of the participants who participated this weekend. Machakos was an exciting leg and as Whitecap we look forward to the final calendar leg at the end of the month. From Kenya Breweries, we continue to reassure our commitment to the local motorsport space through Kenya National Rally Championship as we promote our primary goal of making the sport safe and fun for all revelers through responsible drinking” said Ratemo
KNRC POINTS AFTER MACHAKOS
1.Jasmeet Chana 209
2. Karan Patel 200
3. Kush Patel 86
4. Leonardo Varese 82
5. Maxine Wahome 74
6. Steve Mwangi 70
PROVISIONAL FINAL RESULTS-RSC MACHAKOS RALLY
1. Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan (Ford Fiesta) 1:42.35.45
2. Hamza Anwar/Riyaz Ismail (EVO10) 1:45.54.64
3. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (EVO10) 1:49.49.59
4. Eric Bengi/Absalom Aswani (EVO10) 1:58.21.77
5. Nikhil Sachania/Deep Patel (EVO10) 2:00.01.29
6. Rajveer Thethy/Wayne Fernandes (Subaru) 2:01.08.23
7. Kush Patel/ Mudasar Chaudry (Subaru) 2:02.50.27
8. Shakeel Khan/Steve Mwangi (Ford Escort) 2:05.43.11
9. Steve Mwangi/Dennis Mwenda (Subaru) 2:07.11.02
10. Leo Varese/Kigondu Kareithi (Toyota Auris) 2:14.46.21
11. Edward Maina/Anthony Gichohi (Subaru) 2:17.20.59