As drivers brace themselves for a dress rehearsal ahead of next month’s KCB Guru Nanak Rally, the penultimate stage of the KNRC, family love will be put aside in pursuit of supplanting Naushad Khara of Lota Motorsports off his MMC title perch.
With battle lines already drawn, much of the enthusiasm is centred on the entry of two sets of parent and progeny crew.
Coast Pekee’s veteran Ajaz Mirza couldn’t have asked for a memorable rally as he will have his pace notes called by his son Adil who has had a feeling of the cockpit since 2007.
Adil’s brother Izhar will be among those vying for honours and to add spice in the event is the entry of Rai brothers, Tejvir and Onkar, who will be driving different makes of the Subaru model, the latter being navigated by rally guru and two-time Kenya champion Baldev Chager in an Impreza.
Onkar and Tej are nephews to two-time Kenya Champion, Sarbi Rai.
But what makes the whole affair interesting is the pulsating rally rivalry between Coast and Nairobi drivers with both set to flex their muscles to prove who the undisputed kings of Mariakani gravel stages are.
Several potential titlists are lined among them defending champion Khara who will be taking on series leader Sudesh Hirani “Hakuuz”. Hakuuz plots a fairly robust run in Mariakani having already acquired the ex-Raaji Bharij Subaru Impreza N10.
Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) results officer Qayyum Shiraz will be testing different waters altogether as he makes his maiden appearance in a quite competitive field.
With Qayyum the only greenhorn in the championship, 20-year old Navid Khalid will be carrying along not only the acclaim of being Coast’s youngest driver who will be competing in the main class despite being in the ‘Waka Waka’ Two-Wheel Drive Toyota Levin.
Khalid is not alone in this category as Jittu and Prakash, the youngest navigator at 18, will also be steering a two wheel drive.
And quite as lot is also expected of another budding driver in Farhan Khan “Don” from Coast who will be driving a Subaru Impreza.
“Don” is back with Thabit Khandwalla, and having completed new paint job on his car he’s already psyching-up Guru Nanak.
Mariakani will not be devoid of more spectacle in the three buggies that will be driven by Mubashar Khan, Huzeifa Hanowalla and Tarveen Singh Oshan.
Curiously, the trio will be having their own battle of sorts and whoever among them will carry the day will have broken a lot of sweat.
ENTRY LIST-MMC MARIAKANI RALLY RD 3
1. Naushad Kara/Adnan Din (LOTA MOTORSPORTS-Subaru N12)
2. Sudesh Hirani “Hakuzz”/Haps Sagoo (Subaru N10)
3. Victor Okundi “Biqui” /James Mwangi (Toyota Vitz)
4. John Mburu/Rafael Kivaa (Mitsubishi EVo4)
5. Onkar Rai/Baldev Chager (KABRAS SUGAR-Subaru gc8)
6. Tarveen Singh Oshan (Buggy)
7. Mubashar Khan (SHAZZ GROUP-Buggy)
8. Huzeifa Hanowalla (Buggy)
9. Jitendra Davda “Jitu”/Prakash Narotham (BABU MOTORS-Toyota Marino)
10. Jan Mohammed (Subaru gc8)
11. Izhar Mirza/Zahir Shah (COAST PEKEE-EVO9)
12. Naveed Khalid/Mutuma M’marimba (WAKA WAKA- Toyota Levin)
13. Qayyum Shiraz/Riyaz Ismail (SHAZZ GROUP-Subaru gc8)
14. Ajaz Mirza/Adil Mirza (COAST PEKEE-Subaru N6)
15. Farhaan Khan “Don”/Thabit Khandwalla (EAGLE MOTORSPORTS-Subaru)
16. Anish Chouhan/Kailesh Chouhan (BHP PERFORMANCE-Subaru Legacy)
17. Paras Pandya (Subaru N6)
18. Tejvir Rai/Bharat Pattni -KABRAS SUGAR-Subaru)