KNRC to wrap up season on a high in Naivasha


Action in a previous Nanyuki Rally. PHOTO/Courtesy
Action in a previous Nanyuki Rally. PHOTO/Courtesy

The final round of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) heads to Naivasha on November, 26 with drivers ready for a sparkling homestretch tussle for points.

With the main KNRC title already decided during last weekend’s KCB Kitengela Rally – where Finnish Tapio Laukannen became the first foreign winner of the domestic championship in a season -, the two-wheel drive (2WD) class will be the center of attraction for fans eager to discover their 2016 champion.

Only two drivers remain in contention of the title, after the penultimate stage in Kitengela, with leader Eric Bengi and Alex Lairangi, going all out to win the title.

“Bengi with a 14 point lead will for sure be going for the title after winning his fourth event of the season in Kitengela,” KNRC Media Liaison Officer, Samson Ateka said.

While Bengi, who is already assured of a top two finish even if he fails to finish in Naivasha is aiming for the title, his navigator Tuta Mionki is 11 points away from becoming the first lady to claim a Two Wheel Drive navigator’s title, since Carol Wahome. She will however first have to dispose Anthony Gichohi from the pole position.

Other drivers expected to spice up the 2WD category include Sammy Nyorri and outgoing champion Leonardo Varese.

The main race season finale has attracted a star-studded entry among top premier class drivers including Champion ‘Flying Finn’ Tapio Laukkanen, Baldev Singh Chager,  Manvir Baryan, newly crowned Group N Champion Ian Duncan, Carl “Flash” Tundo and Kitengela winner Rajbir Rai.

Ian Duncan won the Group N Driver championship despite not finishing. Duncan’s navigator, Amar Slaatch has a tougher competition in the co-drivers championship.

Onkar Singh Rai and his co-driver Gareth Dawe laid their hands on the KNRC Division 1 championship title after attaining an unassailable lead at penultimate stage in Kitengela as his closest class adversary Jasmeet Chana can’t catch him even if he won the last round in Naivasha at the end of the month.

The rally will be organised by Sikh Union Nairobi, and flagged off outside KCB branch in Naivasha from 6:30am (+GMT) onwards, with the Service Park and rally headquarters situated at Buffalo Mall in Naivasha. Scrutineering will be held on the eve of the rally at Buffalo Mall.

“The entry is still open until the last week of the rally,” Ateka added.

The event will finish in Naivasha although the prize giving will be held at Sikh Union Club at 8pm (+GMT).

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Story By Philip Muchiri
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