NAIROBI, Kenya, February 10 – The KCB Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) season opener has attracted a star studded entry that includes two new Ford Fiesta 5s as the 2015 edition revs – off in Kisumu County next weekend.
The event that will witness the R5 formula grace the Kenyan competitive stages around the Chemase and Chemelil hills for the first time, will be headlined by defending champion Baldev Chager and Carl “Flash” Tundo in the newly-introduced KNRC Premier division which is a composition of top 11 fastest group.
Rajbir Rai who won two events last year in Kisumu and Eldama Ravine is believed to have acquired a Ford Fiesta R5 although he is yet to make it public. MRT’s Manvir Baryan has the other Ford Fiesta R5.
The Rai Racing youngster will be among the drivers to beat in the Premiership.
Rajbir’s cousins Tejveer and Onkar Rai are sticking with EvoXs and hope to attack the 2015 season with zest and vigor spurred by their lead driver Chager in their Kabras Sugar Racing squad.
Fans in Kisumu have a bonus as they bear witness to some good-humoured Toyota rivalry in the Two Wheel Drive class.
2WD Toyota drivers expected in Kisumu are Eric Bengi (RunX), Alex Lairang’I (Sprinter GT) and champion Leonardo Varese (Corolla RSI).
VW Golf MK3 of Gurmeet Singh Thethy who won a round last year is set to unveil a new navigator for the season before the opening round.
Lairang’i has acquired Dennis Mwenda’s Sprinter after driving a VW MK2 in his debut season last year.
The S Class Category has attracted the likes Hussein Malik and 2012 2WD Champion Nadeem Kana who will be driving the ex-Alasdair Keith GC8 car.
“My new EVOX car will not be here in time as it is coming by ship and I need to practice and test before hand. I’m eager to get sponsors however I have not been very successful so far. My plan for 2015 is to finish all the rallies regardless of position,” Karan Patel who might be driving the championship-winning GC8 for Kisumu declared.
Jonathan Somen begins his Classic car defence campaign at the wheel of a Ford Escort MK2 with the Classic having the 2014 season frontrunners including Rob Hellier from Malindi and Ranjeet Sehmi.
There’s a fabulous fight in prospect in the KNRC’s SPV class too, with physically challenged driver Nikhil Sachania raring to go in his hand controlled Mitsubishi Challenger.
Sachania, the Sports Personality of the Year disability award winner is bringing in a Fiat Grande Punto S2000 later in the month.
Jassi Chatthe leads the onslaught for homeboys-including Jitendra Dhokia, KNRC debutant Raju Sagoo from Kericho and Premier Racing’s Ronak Shah, a cousin to renowned Kisumu driver Bimal Shah of Swan group.
Jansher Sandhu, son of Kulwinder Sandhu has acquired Ian Duncan’s Evo9 and will be navigated by Rommy Bhamra.
THE 2015 KCB KNRC CALENDAR:
Round 1 – FEB 21 –22 Kisumu
Round 2 – APRIL 4 – 5 Nanyuki
Round 3 – MAY 2- 3 Nairobi
Round 4 – JUNE 6 – 7 Mombasa
Round 5 – JULY 4 – 5 Eldoret
Round 6 – AUG 8- 9 Nairobi
Round 7 – SEP 5 – 6 Nakuru
Round 8 – OCT 24 – 25 Nairobi