NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 – Former multiple Safari Rally Coupe des Dames navigator champion Safina Khan is at it again, this time clinching the 2018 KCB Kenya National Autocross Championship 2WD Non Turbo Class title.
Safina wrapped up her 2018 championship campaign in second overall position but achieved her fairytale feat after Hamza Anwar failed to meet the 75% requirement as stipulated in the national competition rules.
As per the KMSF NCR’s 2018 Clause 10.5, a competitor should have competed in 75% of the events prescribed in the national motorsports calendar to be entitled to be recognized as national champion if he/she has the most number of points that would make them the national champion. If the competitor has not achieved the75% events threshold, then the next driver with the highest number of points but meets this criterion will be declared the national champion.
Following this Clause, and the fact that Hamza Anwar only managed 70% of the events as of the belated WKMC Round 4, compared to Safina’s 90%- she becomes the new champion. Safina takes overvghe title from another retired KNRC female navigator Gillian Bailey.
Here’s what she had to say in an interview: “It has been a very adrenaline spiked, fun-filled and sensational Autocross Season 2018 for me. I’m overly excited to be the new champion in the class despite my underpowered machine. It hasn’t sunk in yet. We started off in the last quarter of the Autocross 2017 Championship in a small, cute, well-prepared Toyota Vitz which had been previously left to rust in some showroom. My husband (Adil Khan) took the Toyota Vitz and decided to upgrade it into an autocross car set to participate in the 2WD Non-Turbo class. This car was actually meant for my firstborn son, who co-incidentally was by then, almost sitting for his IGCSE Cambridge Exams. So, the decision to make the car an under-powered 1500c.c was a deliberate one, to suit my son and get him accustomed to racing in the Autocross.”
Safina competed in the last two autocross events for 2017 to get a feel of the car. Although she found it seriously lacking in speed and sprint, with a 1500 c.c engine and drivetrain, she nevertheless pushed on
with it to get some 2WD experience. “I was at this point pitted against much faster and superior machines
which were 1800 c.c and even up to 2.6 liters in my class – 2wd Non – turbo challenge.”