Safari Rally will be won or lost in Elementaita


Flying Finn Tapio Laukkanen in action in a past rally. PHOTO/Courtesy
Flying Finn Tapio Laukkanen in action in a past rally. PHOTO/Courtesy

Focus on the 64th running of KCB Safari Rally will be on Soysambu and Elementaita stages where the wheat will be separated from the chaff when action gets underway at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conventional Centre (KICC) on June 10.

The signature Kenya National Rally Championships (KNRC) event of the season will be cocktail of modern machines against the tried and tested classics that created their legend at the event once dubbed the ‘toughest’ in the world.

Classic Ford Escorts and Porsches, 2WD Toyotas, Group N Mitsubishi Evolution, Subaru R4s and Ford Fiesta R5s will set off from KICC from 10am to tackle the 2.2km Nairobi’s Jamhuri Park spectator stage from midday before embarking on a gruelling 130km transport road section to Lake Elementaita Lodge for overnight stay.

Saturday, June 11 will be the longest and toughest featuring six stages totalling 154km around Soysambu and Elementaita regions.

The final leg contains three stages of 66km, around Delemare East/Jolai, Delamere West/Milia and the 1km Lodge Spectator Stage which is the shortest section.

The longest stage of the event which will be repeated twice will be the 40km stretch running from Soysambu Gate to the Lake End.

Enries for the event are still trickling in, according to Rally manager Rohit Bhudia.

Moezmalik Abdul from Canada is among the foreign drivers expected to participate in the event which counts towards KCB Kenya National Rally Championship points.

After emerging the victor in Kisumu, Baldev Singh Chager leads the KNRC log with 37 points ahead of Manvir Baryan on 33.

Rajbir Rai is placed third on 27 points followed by Kajiado Rally winner Tapio Laukkanen.

Onkar Singh Rai tops the KNRC Division 1 category on 46 followed by Izhar Mirza of Mombasa on 36.

Eric Bengi still leads the Two Wheel Drive class with a flawless points score of 50, 14 ahead of defending champion Leonardo Varese.

Osman Abdullahi will be participating in the Safari for the first time in his ex-Paras Pandya Subaru Impreza N10.

The 35-year-old Nairobi businessman has always wanted to do the Safari and is taking time off work to compete after crowning his KNRC debut in Kisumu in 13th overall position.

“Assuming that nothing unexpected happens, I will be going for another finish on the iconic Safari just as I did on my debut in Kisumu,” he said.

STANDINGS

KNRC MAIN CLASS DRIVERS

  1. Baldev Chager 37, 2. Manvir Baryan 33, 3. Rajbir Rai 29, 4. Tapio Laukkanen 27, 5. Ian Duncan 21, 5. Jassi Chatthe 20, 6. Onkar Rai 18, 7. Carl Tundo 15, 8. Karan Patel 12, 9. Izhar Mirza 10, 10. Frank Tundo 10.

KNRC MAIN CLASS NAVIGATORS

  1. Ravi Soni 43, 2. Gareth Dawe 27, 3. Amar Slatch 25, 4. Gugu Panesar 23, 5. Tim Jessop 21.

KNRC DIVISION ONE

  1. Onkar Rai 46, 2. Izhar Mirza 36, 3. Jasmeet Chana 31, 4. Frank Tundo 25, 5. Jansher Sandhu 24.

KNRC DIVISION TWO

  1. Eric Bengi 27, Jonathan Somen 25, 3. Mahesh Halai 21.

KNRC DIVISION THREE

  1. Chandrakant Devji 43, 2. Natasha Tundo 33, 3. Leonardo Varese 28.

KNRC Group N

  1. Baldev Chager 46, 2. Onkar Rai 33, 3. Ian Duncan 25, 4. Izhar Mirza 24, 5. Karan Patel 21.

KNRC 2WD

  1. Eric Bengi 50, 2. Leo Varese 36, 3= Sammy Nyorri 21, 3=Alex Lairangi  21,

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