NAIROBI, Kenya, October 22 –Two-wheel drive championship leader, Leonardo Varese and navigator Kigo Kareithi are upbeat they will seal the crown when curtains close on this year’s Kenya National Rally Championship next month with the KCB Guru Nanak Rally.
Leonardo, who is leading the standings on 91, 19 ahead of defending champion Dennis Mwenda, needs to score a point at the 35th Guru Nanak Rally to recapture the title he last won six years ago.
He missed out on the opportunity to wrap the championship in Nanyuki at last month’s Safari Rally when electrical problems in their ex-Horsey Toyota Corolla RSI were compounded by a time penalty but they bounced back last weekend to win in Kisumu during the penultimate stage.
All that Varese needs to do is to finish the Guru Nanak rally but should he retire, then hard-fighting Mwenda will defend the title.
“We had a hapless time at Safari Rally in Nanyuki when an electrical problem stalled our car just a few meters from flag-off at KICC. Then in Kisumu we had a lot to atone for, so we were even more motivated to do well in Chemase and this made Kigo (co-driver) and I have the opportunity to recapture the title with a Sunday drive in Guru,” Leonardo declared.
“However, I’m absolutely convinced that we will pull through because pressure is on Mwenda to attack and win. He also has spoilers to tackle on his way up, we have done the hardest part to win in Kisumu and win 4 rounds (Machakos, Kisumu, Kiambu and Nanyuki) in a season. This has eased the pressure on us going into the final round which I believe will have a full house.”
2WD STANDINGS AFTER KISUMU
1. Leonardo Varese 91
2. Dennis Mwenda 72
3. Nadeem Kana 69
4. Eric Bengi 59
5. Gurmit Thethy 58
6. Nishal Shah 13
7. Sammy Nyorri. 9
8. Charan Thethy. 7
8.Joan Nesbitt ) 7
10. Caroline Gatimu 6
10. Alex Lairang’i 6