NAIROBI, September 1 – Newly crowned African champion Jaspreet “Jassi” Chatthe is revving to complete a rare double on Saturday during the KCB Nakuru Rally.
Should Chatthe finish in top 8, he will become the first-ever local driver to win both the African Rally Championship and Kenya National Rally Championships (KNRC in the same season.
Speaking during the pre event briefing, Chatthe said running in two championships has been hectic.
“I’m glad we brought the continental title back to Kenya after 31 years, it’s been a very hard year running two championships. I have been to six countries competing and it was a good experience flying Kenya’s flag.”
David Horsey was the last Kenyan to win the title in 1984 in a Peugeot 504 pick-up.
For Chatthe, to win the KNRC title, he needs a mere 4.5 points out of the two remaining rounds of the series.
1994 World Rally Championship Safari Rally winner, Ian Duncan teaming up with Amaar Slatch in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX will be the first off the ramp.
While Chatthe will be targeting a maiden championship and his third win, Duncan will be going for his second win of the season after emerging the victor in Kajiado in May.
Three times KNRC championship Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo is seeded second followed by Onkar Rai, champion Baldev Chager and Manvir Baryan.
Rajbir Rai who won Nakuru Rally in Eldama Ravine last year will rev off in 6th place.
Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen is seeded 8th in the Rift Valley Motor and Sports Club event that has attracted 10 cars in KNRC S Class including leader Murae Waigwa, James Kirimi, Edward Maina and Hussein Malik among others.
The Classic car class has five entries including Aslam Khan in a Porsche Carrera, Rob Hellier in a Datsun 160J and Samit Ghelot in a Ford Escort MK1. Ghello is participating in his first rally this season.
2WD championship race is a three-man affair pitting champion Leonardo Varese, leader Eric Bengi and Sammy Nyorri.
“We are going to keep the pressure up, same as we did in Machakos. We proved we had an extra gear in Machakos. We are going for victory in Nakuru,” Varese said.
Waigwa said he will be going for the jugular this weekend.
“Nakuru was my first KNRC event last year and it will be good to be back there fighting for S Class honors. There is a very strong Group S entry this time round so we will see how recce goes.
“We are going for nothing short of victory, meaning we will attack from the word go; and that is exactly what we will do. We have had a thorough going over of the GC8 and realised we have a reliable car for the remaining events of the season. We are optimistic of a strong finish.”