NAIROBI, November 13 – An all weather competitive route awaits more than 80 rally drives and crew as the curtains of the 2012 national championships come down this Sunday.
Organizers of the 33rd edition of the KCB Guru Nanak Rally, have laid out a tough rally to bring back the memories of the Safari Rally of the yester-years with drivers traversing fresh rally grounds in Kedong and Suswa.
Speaking at Tuesdays press briefing ahead of the rally, Simba Union’s Pipi Renu said they are all set for a tough and rough Guru Nanak rally.
“We took a lot of time going out to Suswa and Kedong areas to find proper routes so we had to make sure they are all weather roads. Everybody knows it’s a new area and we are very happy that the competitors will enjoy. Its going to be a typical Safari Rally thing, a proper nice rough rally.”
This year’s event has attracted foreign interest and among them top names in the sport and they will be looking to challenge the local boys.
Returning after missing some of the action this year is Uganda’s Jas Mangat who has been a thorn in the shoe for many of the local drivers whenever he competes in the championship.
Another driver who is not a stranger in the local rally scene will be former England and Finland rally champion Tapio Laukkanen.
Tapio will be taking up a different role this time round as he will be competing and staying away from his training and servicing role.
Three drivers will be representing Tanzania including Mitsubishi EVO X driver Gurpal Sandhu, Fraukje Eline Vooijs and Marco Ferreira.
Many rally fans had been looking forward to the proposed night stage that was to be held on Forest road but the plans were cancelled at the last minute ahead of the official opening of the Thika Super Highway by President Mwai Kibaki.
However Renu assured fans that come next year, the Guru Nanak will feature the night stage.
“We had major plans for the night event but with the opening of the Thika Super Highway it could not happen, but we had all plans in place and the drivers and fans were all ready. We are definitely going to have the stage next year.”
Battle for stage times.
With most, if not all titles already won, drivers in this weekends rally will be chasing top stage times. Carl Tundo sealed his third KNRC title with a superb drive in to notch up his third Eldoret title.
Aslam Khan won the Classic Car Cup while Jaswinder Chana scooped the S’ Class. Coast based Nadeem Kana won the 2WD class in his rally debut navigated by James Mwangi.
Division 2 up for grabs.
Don Smith, Manvir Baryan and coast-based Izar Mirza will be at each others necks as they battle for the top honors in this class.
Izhar is perched at the top of the Division 2 championship table with 425 points with Smith second in 405 while Manvir sits third with 390 points.
The 11km rough road spectators stage is scheduled to have all rally cars pass through in three sessions across Sunday starting from 1030am, 1200pm and 230pm.
“We advice the spectators to come over there and not to drink and drive we will have random police checks along all the rally routes which will include speed checks. We don’t want any casualties this time” Renu added.
8.00AM is the scheduled flag off outside KCB Kikuyu Branch with the Service Park at Namuncha.
Seven competitive stages will be tackled around the Kedong’ and Suswa areas that will see the rally cars cover 316 kilometers in total distance.
The competitive distance of 153 kilometers.