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Rai battles tough course to win Guru Nanak

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Rajbir Rai winner of the Guru Nanak Rally.

Rajbir Rai winner of the Guru Nanak Rally.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – Rajbir Rai navigated by Greg Stead in a Ford Fiesta R5 overcame a tough course to win the Guru Nanak Rally as the 2016 Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) ended on Saturday.

The son of legendary Sarbi Rai had his campaign effectively sewn up when Jassi Chatthe failed to catch him in a ‘fast and furious’ last stage showdown that treated spectators to some exhilarating displays at Aberdare Hills Golf Resort.

It was not a walk in the pack though for Rajbir as Kisumu based Chatthe clinched three out of six stages in the Sikh Union organized rally with the former claiming the first and last stages.

“I’m so elated to have won again considering that our car proved quite unreliable earlier in the season. It was such a tough rally but its always a great pleasure to win the Guru Nanak,” said Rajbir.

Rajbir who announced recently that he will be retiring from the sport after Guru Nanak savored victory incidentally three weeks after clinching Kitengela rally in Kajiado country.

All was not well for some of the KNRC bigwigs who fell by the wayside one after the other.

Top seed Karan Patel and Manvir Baryan were among the early casualties with the later rolling out on the early morning run at Aberdare Hills.

Tapio who has literally swept the ground with all his opponents whenever he had a clean run retired on CS2 at Soysambu.

Manvir and his partner Drew Sturrock came out of their Ford Fiesta unscathed after rolling 3km from end of CS1.

Tapio’s front dampers were damaged before the first refuel and so to avoid ripping the car to pieces, he proceeded into service where he retired.

Other casualties were Onkar Rai with a broken suspension arm, John Nganga with a broken diff on CS2. Out of the 42 who started the rally, only 18 survived the demanding conditions.

KNRC Division 3 driver Osman Abdullahi also suffered his second successive retirement of the season this tine round with a broken drive shaft on CS2.

Two Wheel Drive’s Sam Karangatha went out on CS2 with a cracked sump-guard.

The event which was the last for KCB as title sponsors also confirmed various champions in various categories of the Kenya National Rally Championship with Eric Bengi winning the 2WD championship, Chandu Devji Group S and Ramesh Vishram the Classic car category.

Other champions in the season are Tash Tundo (division three) and  Ian Duncan (Group N).

Provisional Final Results

  1. Rajbir Rai/Greg Stead (Ford Fiesta) 1:28.54
  2. Jassi Chatthe/Gugu Panesar (Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 1:29.49
  3. Ian Duncan (Mitsubishi Evolution 10)1:30.20
  4. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi Evolution 10)1:34.11
  5. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 1:36.47
  6. Dennis Mwenda/Job Njiru (Mitsubishi Evolution 9) 1:40.04
  7. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Triumph TR8) 1:42.41
  8. Izhar Mirza/Kavit Dave (Mitsubishi Evolution 9) 1:43.41
  9. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Mitsubishi Evolution 9) 1:46.01
  10. Farhaaz Khan/Keith Henrie (Mitsubishi Evolution 9) 1:54.24
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