Champ Chatthe raring for KNRC title defense
The first leg of KCB sponsored Kenya National Rally Championships will be headed to the plains and hills of Kajiado County in what will arguably be a sensational season starter for the 2016 rally season.
Kenya Motor Sports Federation (KMSF) director, Phineas Kimathi, received 45 million shillings from the bank today with Liquid Telecom and Vivo Energy coming in as co-sponsors ahead of the eight-rally series across select counties in the country.
While the list of participating drivers was yet to be confirmed by the time of going to press, the top guns are raring to go in this year’s KNRC series.
Leading in the list of contenders for this year’s top honors is the current Africa Rally Championships and KNRC champion Jaspreet Chatthe who has confirmed participation in Kajiado as he mounts a defence of his crown.
“KCB Group continues to support this sport because we understand the benefits that are accrued to the fans, our customers and the business community. We continue to encourage more fans to come out and enjoy the countryside where the rally is held.
“This way we will be encouraging domestic tourism and engaging with other communities across the country”, said Angela Mwirigi, KCB Director of Marketing and Communications who was represented by Job Njeru, the Head of Customer Experience, at the launch function in Nairobi.
“If we were to pay the people who make motor sport happen, I would not want to mention the figures but I can tell you there are drivers who are spending over 20 million shillings,” Kimathi, who’s son will take part in the series said whilst hailing the sponsors.
While the list of participating drivers was yet to be confirmed by the time of going to press, the top guns are raring to go in this year’s KNRC series. Leading in the list of contenders for this year’s top honors is the current Africa Rally Championships (ARC) and KNRC champion Jaspreet Chatthe who has confirmed participation.
‘Jassi’ as he is fondly known in rally circles, has promised a flat out approach to the 2016 KNRC title race. Jassi trail blazed in last year’s ARC and KNRC beating veteran drivers like Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, Quentin Mitchel, Tapio Laukkanen and the former champion Baldev Chager.
He admitted to taking a cautious approach last season, adding that he will concentrate more on finishing and driving flat out this year.
“To be very honest it will be a different strategy in 2016. On the continent front we will be targeting a few events on this side of Africa which is Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda but not Zambia, South Africa and of course Ivory Coast,” Jassi added.
The reigning champion has already converted his Mitsubishi Evo X from a group N car to R4 classification since last season noting his car is lighter and easy to handle.
The KNRC 2W champions Leonardo Varese and Navigator Mwangi Kaigwa are ready to challenge their arch rivals the Eric Bengi team.
This year the KCB Rally tracking has been improved by the inclusion of mobile technology. The Mobile application will make it easier for rally enthusiasts to track and monitor their favorite rally drivers and navigators through their mobile phones both android and iPhone.
According to Kenya Motor Sports Club (KMSC) the organizer of the KCB Kajiado Rally, the scrutineering stage will be at Shell gas station along Waiyaki way on Friday February 26.
The flag off will be at KCB Kajiado Rally branch on 27th February and the prize giving will be at the AIC Primary School Kajiado. There will be plenty of fanfare at the spectator stage which will be located at the Kajiado Airstrip.
The Kajiado Rally is expected to be a tough one for drivers considering the route is relatively.
Organisers have focused on new routes that the drivers will be informed about once the official time for drivers’ reconnaissance is designated.
About 50 rally cars will be flagged off for this year’s KCB Kajiado Rally.
Reporting by Peter Kimani
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