NAIROBI, May 14 – Two time Africa Champion Muna Singh and David Sihoka will be crowned the winner of the inaugural KCB East African Rally Challenge (EARC) if he finishes in the top five in next month’s KCB Safari Rally.
Muna tightened his grip on the crown after winning the Kobil Rally in Dar-es-Salaam last February and coming home third in the famous Kampala round of KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally. His achievemnts have given him a four-point cushion ahead of Uganda winner Zimbabwean Jamie Whyte.
Hideaki Miyoshi (22 points) of Japan and 27 year old Jas Mangat (17 points) have an outside chance. Mangat finished 2nd overall in the Kobil Rally of Tanzania but was disqualified for outside assistance after coming 4th overall in Uganda.
The Zim-Zam Series Drivers seem to be running away with the KCB EARC title serving up great moments ahead for spectators in the KCB Safari Rally 2008 set for June 27-29.
The regional competition will be a duel of sorts, but the crowds will have a bonus as they bear witness to an intense ‘Young Drivers promo’.
The KCB Pearl of Africa Rally has had considerable significance since it kicked off the FIA/Pirelli Young Star Promotion.
Alfir Khan was thrilled by being the top placed Kenyan in KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally but staunchly admitted that Jon Williams’ VW Polo S-2000 was in a different league. The Youngster promotion appears to be a two horse race with Alfir and Williams preparing for a breathtaking battle in Nairobi.
Romping home fifth overall in his first ever ARC appearance outside Kenya was quite satisfactory for Alfir but taking second overall in the FIA/Pirelli Young Drivers Promotion was exquisitely brilliant for the 2003 Kenya’s Formula Two Champion.
But Khan who was driving the oldest model, a 1998 Impreza, conceded that it is impossible to fight for championship without a superior formula.
“I have to upgrade my car or acquire a new formula of car because guys here are really fast. It was a good experience, though, driving on narrow and rough roads. We actually took it easy in the first two days but put our foot down on the last day as we were really chasing Williams for Pirelli Points. Apart from the turbo problems, the gearbox developed problems and the gears were jumping distressingly,” said Khan.
Khan is doing all rounds of the ARC to be in contention for the Pirelli award whose winner will be fully sponsored to drive in six rounds of the World rally Championship (WRC) tours of Europe.
Uganda based Peter Horsey now racing on a Kenyan license will also be a force to reckon once his Mitsubishi EVO 8 is sorted out after under going major rehabilitation following a freak accident during last year’s KCB Amana Account Rally in Mombasa. Horsey finished 10th overall in Kampala driving his old Toyota Corolla.