NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – Honours in the first round of the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) will be up for grabs when the KCB Biashara Banking Rally revs off in Eldoret and Iten.
Veteran Alistair Cavenagh who will be driving a Mitsubishi EVO 9 will lead thirty cars off the ramp when the race is flagged off outside the KCB Eldoret West branch.
Cavenagh who is navigated by Saleem Haji is making a comeback after rolling in the same event which was held in Nanyuki last year.
“It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get onto the pace in the new car,” said Cavenagh who is yet to repeat his feat of a decade ago when he won the championship.
Since then, Cavenagh has only participated in selected events over the past three years.
“I think this year will be the most competitive season since I have been rallying in Kenya. With so many fast drivers now in very similar, if not identical machinery, it should definitely be a very exciting championship,” said Cavenagh.
Cavenagh will be followed by Asad Anwar in a Subaru Impreza N11 with 2007 champion Carl Tundo who will also be driving an EVO 9.
The two wheel drive category promises to be a fierce contest with former champion Jasmeet Chana keen on regaining the title he lost to Leonardo Varese last year.
Chana who is being navigated by Randeep Kalsi is first off the ramp in a Volkswagen Golf GTI while Varese who is driving the same make will start in third place.
The rally route is synonymous with the by-gone glory years of the Safari Rally when it was part of the World Rally Championship.
“The route is basically the same with a few modifications made around Cherangani Hills. Its smooth but with some rough stretches also anticipated,” said event director and clerk of the course Ravi Taylor.
Scrutineering will take place at Sirikwa Hotel on Saturday from 2 p.m.
The first stage of the 236 kilometre rally is between View Point and Singore which is 18.65 kilometres followed by Bugar – Chabara stage, 14.4 kilometres, Chebiemit –Elgeyo which is 19.55 kilometres and Kamukio – Chepkinoyo which is 19.95 kilometres making a total competitive distance of 144.5 kilometres.