Azar in the wars


NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11- Former national champion Azar Anwar is in a race against time to prepare for this weekend’s KCB Visa Card Banking Rally. Anwar who finished ninth in last month’s Safari Rally said that he’s unsure whether he will make the event in Kisumu following the departure of crucial members of his crew to a rival driver.

“I feel this is an attempt to sabotage me and put me out in the cold. We even go out of our way to help other drivers in the service parks and I’m sure the person who is doing this we have helped him before,” said Azar who is slated to start in fourth place on the ramp.

“As I speak, my car has been dismantled and my people have disappeared. I can’t find the tools, I can’t find the spare parts and we’re even struggling just to make it to Kisumu,” he added.

The former national champion has all but given up hope of winning the rally to be flagged off on Saturday morning.

“We are working round the clock to untangle the mess that we have been left with. We may not be able to challenge to be frank but we will try our best,” said Azar.

Azar who is currently eighth on the national rally championships hopes the slippery conditions expected around the lakeside town will swing the race in his favour.

“We’re looking forward to it because from what I hear, the organizers have tried their best to make it a challenging event. I like competing when its wet because it gives me a chance against the guys with the more superior and expensive cars,” said Azar.

Thirty five cars have so far confirmed their participation for the rally which makes its return to Kisumu after a five year hiatus.

“The reason why we have not been in Kisumu for the last five years is due to safety concerns. But after talks with the local officials and organizers, we are confident that safety for the drivers and spectators has been addressed,” said rally organizer Dave Macharia.

The 400km long event has been divided in to five competitive stages of which three will be done twice.

The main day action will take place in the Miwani and Awasi sugar plantations with a spectator stage run by the outskirts of the service park on the Homa Lime premises.

The Kenyatta Sports Ground will host the finish where the first car is expected at 4.45 pm.