NAIROBI, Kenya, February 14 – James Kirimi finally broke his Formula Two duck with an emphatic win in the KCB Personal Loans Rally in Voi .
The Komatsu sponsored driver navigated by Kimeli Korir in a VW Golf Gti was elated that his title campaign had started on a very enterprising note.The closest Kirimi has ever come to victory was in 2009 RSC Thika Rally where he scooped second overall and has since shown aggressive driving but a win had eluded him. It’s a great start for James as he goes for the title but it will be interesting to see whether James will maintain the pace.
“It was a sweet feeling when I realised I won. This is just the beginning but we plan to mantain the pace and definitely go for the championship. We are in it to win it.” said James. The elated driver said he found the route ok but stage two was rough for him.
Joel Muchiri was also all smiles after clinching his first ever podium position. Joel a protégé of Azar Anwar Motorsorts was thrilled with the fantastic results but reckoned he could have won had he not stopped in stage one to check his car after a badly taken jump. Joe and his navigator Riyaz Ishmail have been on the rise since they joined the sport late last year finishing 7th, 5th,4th and now 2nd.
Metrix Hardware sponsored Gurmit Thethy completed the podium trio in a time of 64.40, 2 minutes 24seconds adrift of the winner. This is his 3rd podium finish with the first coming back in 2007 (KCB Simba Savings Rally) and the 2nd in last year’s Guru Nanak Rally. The Golf Gti driver partnered with Depinder Kalsi.
Formula 2 ace Adnan Suhail and his partner Absalom Aswani rolled the ex-Hinga Daihatsu Charade Special on the CS 1 Sagala stage. The incident happened near the end of stage 1 where the route narrows and becomes twisty around Sagala Hills.
Fortunately, no one was injured and the car only sustained aesthetic damage allowing the crew to continue competing.
“We came out of a corner and there was a spectator walking in the middle of the road. I tried to avoid hitting him but I lost the car in the process. Luckily we were not flat out so we rolled only once, slowly.” said Adnan
After the slow roll, the car landed on all fours and the crew continued at unabated speed with the hope of clinching a third consecutive win. Adnan was navigated by Absalom Aswani to 7th in a Daihatsu Charade running on a Toyota 20 valve 2.0 litre engine.
CAVENAGH GRABS FIRST ROUND
In a typically flamboyant charge, sibling Alastair and Adrian Cavenagh once again entered their names in the annals of rallying history after leading KCB Personal Loans Rally from start to finish in Voi.
Romping home their grey Mitsubishi Evolution 9 to historic victory at Voi Wildlife Lodge finish was incidentally a repeat of the 2004 Kisumu Rally when Adrian and Alastair became the second ever rally siblings after legendary Joginder Singh and his brother Jaswant trailed the blaze in 1965.
And shattering their own record amidst searing heat was such a brilliant way for Alastair to launch his 2011 title defense.
Cavenagh’s Dalbit teammate Carl “Flash” Tundo fought his way up from fifth to second overall place as Ian Duncan’s 3rd handed Mitsubishi Evolution 9 an ecstatic clean-sweep.
“After 67kilometers, I mean, it was only one second between us; a great start for the season obviously and a very good tight close race considering Ian (Duncan) was in the new car,” an elated Alastair said.
VW Golf GTi driver James Kirimi achieved his maiden career win in Formula Two as Joel Muchiri and Riaz Ishmail gave Toyota Levin second overall.
Enthusiasts and officials were kept abreast of proceedings at the Voi Wildlife Lodge’s Rally HQs courtesy of co-sponsors Car Track who are motoring all rally cars in real time.
The event, co-sponsored by Pelican, iWay Africa, National Oil, Keringet and ALS, drew hordes of local spectators at Voi stadium with an estimated 8000 spectators and hundreds more cheering on top of building.
The bond between Alastair and his sibling Adrain wasn’t just precise but utterly aggressive. Cavenagh was elated with his lead as at second service (after stage 5) as the cars prepared to tackle the last three stages. Cavenagh’s main threat was Duncan and teammate Tundo who incidentally dipped to 5th position as at CS5.
“The front tyres became loose and we had to stop and check if all was okay. We lost about a minute.” said Tundo.
Next round id in Nairobi on teh 19th and 20th of March.