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Guru Nanak out to recreate Safari Rally magic

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NAIROBI, Kenya, October 31- Organisers of the season ending 33rd KCB Guru Nanak Rally have set out the route for the November 17-18 event to be synonymous to the Safari Rally when it used to be a World Rally Championship round.

Clerk of the course Surinder Thatthi and Event Director Dali Kalsi are keen for the competitors who will tackle stages along Kedong and Suswa to experience a throwback to the Safari that was billed as the toughest rally on the planet before it was struck off the WRC roster in 2003.

The need to rump the excitement is down to the fact that national titles in the main, Formula 2 and Classic Car classes have already been decided after the penultimate round in Eldoret.

The Guru Nanak rally that was first staged in 1973 and won by Vic Preston Sr/Bill Parkinson in a Mercedes Benz 250 will close the curtains to the eight-leg 2012 KCB Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) series.

This year’s edition will have the Competitive Stage (CS) 1 covering 33km that will precede the 57km endurance-test CS2 which Surinder describes as “very rough and rocky.”

This will be followed by a kilometre long Super Special Stage (SSS) before the cars head for service at Namuchunga near the Satellite Station.

After service-out, cars will then tackle the 28km stage before repeating the SSS twice as well as CS1.

Surinder said they have resorted to all-weather roads in anticipation of next month’s El Nino rains.

“We were unable to use the roads around Kajiado to avoid a similar scenario in the Safari where rains wrecked havoc,” added the organiser who is also the one of the World Governing Body, FIA Vice-Presidents.

“The 57km stage is a bit rough because we had no suitable roads in Kajiado. All other stages are fine,” he explained.

This year’s Guru Nanak will feature a total of 351km of which 153km is competitive.

Carl “Flash” Tundo and his partner Tim Jessop sealed the KNRC drivers and navigators’ titles.

Kisumu based Jassi Chathe and his co-driver Gugu Panesar also claimed Division 3 titles and so was the Mombasa duo of Nadeem Kana and James Mwangi who scooped the 2WD title.

The KNRC Division 2 title went down to the wire and it will be interesting to see how Don Smith, Manvir Baryan and Coast Pekee’s Izhar Mirza battle it out on home stretch.

The Simba Union organized event renews the rivalry between state-of-the-art Subaru N series and the high-flying Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.

Alastair Cavenagh, Tundo and Ian Duncan have dominated the stages on the Evos much to chagrin of their Subaru adversaries Baldev Chager, Quentin Mitchell and Onkar Singh Rai.

“The Subaru N16 seems to be getting more reliable over time. After plenty of research and thought they are now performing. It’s proven to be very fast on smooth flowing stages but still seems to lack the edge on jumps and extreme rough conditions.

“This year not many events have favoured the N16 since they have been rough and full of big jumps,” said Chager.

The Monster Energy/Dalbit Petroleum team of two-time former KNRC winners Cavenagh and Tundo has proven almost impossible to catch this season having won six of the seven rallies held thus far.

Cavenagh has proven that he is the one to catch having set the highest number of fastest stage times.

Guru Nanak, an event organized by the Kenyan Sikh community, promises to be a thrilling event with Tundo, Duncan and Cavenagh once again locking horns.

PAST WINNERS-GURU NANAK RALLY

1973: Vic Preston Sr/Bill Parkinson (Mercedes Benz 250)
1974: NOT HELD
1975: Mike Hanson/Ian Grant (Mazda 626)
1976: Manjit Panesar/Chaani Panesar (Datsun 1600sss)
1977: NOT HELD
1978: Chris Bates/Belinda Davidson (Colt Lancer)
1979-1983: NOT HELD
1984:Ann Taith/Sylvia King (Opel Ascona 400)
1985: Vic Preston Jnr/John Lyall (Lancia 037)
1986: Ian Duncan/Ian Munro (Opel Manta 400)
1987: Ian Duncan/Ian Munro (Toyota Celica TCT)
1988: Ian Duncan/Ian Munro (Subaru Supra)
1989: Ian Duncan/Ian Munro (Toyota Celica GT4)
1990: Patrick Njiru/Dave Williamson (Subaru Legacy)
1991: Steve Anthony/Paul Valentine (Mazda 323)
1992: Sarbi Rai/Supee Soin (Toyota Celica GT4)
1993: Sarbi Rai/Supee Soin (Toyota Celica GT4)
1994: Tanveer Alam/Mo Verjee (Subaru Impreza)
1995: Ian Duncan/Dave Williamson (Toyota Celica Turbo)
1996: Rob Hellier/ Des Page Morris (Mitsubishi Galant VR4)
1997: Emmanuel Katto/Frank Gitau (Toyota Celica Turbo)
1998: Paul Bailey/Raju Sehmi (Toyota Celice Turbo)
1999: Alastair Cavenagh/ Crispin Sasson (Subaru Impreza)
2000: Ian Duncan/Salim Haji (Toyota Land Cruiser pick Up)
2001: Ian Duncan/Salim Haji (Toyota Land Cruiser pick Up)
2002: Ian Duncan/Salim Haji (Toyota Land Cruiser pick Up)
2003: Ian Duncan/Salim Haji (Toyota Land Cruiser pick Up)
2004: Baldev Chager/Farakh Yusuf (Subaru Impreza)
2005: Riyaz Kurji/Farakh Yusuf (Subaru Impreza)
2006: Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Toyota Hilux pickup)
2007: Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Toyota Hilux pickup)
2008: Lee Rose/Piers Daykin (Mitsubishi EVO9)
2009: Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Mitsubishi EVO9)
2010: Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Mitsubishi EVO9)
2011: Lee Rose/Piers Daykin (Mitsubishi EVO9)

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