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Bengi off the ramp first in Kajiado KCB Rally

Eric Bengi during the test drive in Stoni Athi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – Premier class driver Eric Bengi driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X will zoom off first as the battle for the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship title returns to Kajiado County this weekend.

More than 25 drivers will line up for the challenge in Sunday’s KCB Kajiado Rally which will start in Kajiado and conclude at the expansive Lisa Ranch in Konza.

By zooming off first, Bengi is expected to sweep the obstacles off the road for the rest of the party.

He will be followed by defending champion Carl “Flash” Tundo, in a Mitsubishi Evo X and ‘Flying Singh’ Baldev Chager and reigning African Champion Manvir Baryan who recently won the season-opening ARC Rallye Bandama of Ivory Coast. Manvir is making a comeback after skipping the KCB Nakuru Rally.

Tejveer Rai, co-driven by Zahir Shah in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X R4 machine, lines up fifth.

Meanwhile, Bengi has completed his pre-event performance test aboard the Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 he will pilot this weekend.

The former Two Wheel Drive champion will savor his second outing in the.ex-Farhaaz Khan Evolution following his retirement in Nakuru.

“The test run was very good but we have a few loose ends to deal with before the rally. All in all, I’m glad we’re now getting the hang of the car and feeling excited and optimistic in the run up to Kajiado. This year we are running in the elite Premier Class meaning we shall drive sensibly fast and prepare meticulously,” Bengi said.

Eric Bengi during the test drive in Stoni Athi

Bengi was accompanied by his lady co-driver Tuta Mionki who exuded confidence after testing.

“The test went well. We are still learning and adjusting to the new car and hopefully after a few events we shall be done with teething problems,” Tuta who is the Motorsport Personality of the Year 2018 said.

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“We realized the car needs a lot of training to handle. It’s actually very different from our old Subaru and has much better control but needs seat time. It’s an interesting drive and I think it fits my driving style better we will perform well,” Bengi explained.

“Despite exiting Nakuru, we still feel we can definitely do better in the Evo than the Sub. Our plan is to take baby steps and learn how to handle her then push for a podium. We had had a good CS1 in Nakuru despite almost coming to a complete stop; caught up in dust in the very dusty section,” he stated.

We recorded the 4th fastest time on CS 1. The car sits very well and is very quick out of the corners. We now look forward to the upcoming events but we will need a couple of practice rounds to help us understand the car better,” he added.

Eric Bengi during the test drive in Stoni Athi

Bengi and Tuta are sponsored by Menengai Oil Refineries through their flagship “Menengai Cream” brand.

Scrutineering and reconnaissance (recce) will take place on Saturday, March 2 at the KMSC Clubhouse in Nairobi’s South C and the route course respectively.

Cars will then be flagged off from Kajaido KCB Branch on Sunday March 3 with the finish programmed for Lisa Ranch, Konza on the same day.

Onkar Rai, who delivered an unprecedented hat-trick of wins on Nakuru Rally, leads the KNRC log with 25 points followed by defending KNRC Champion Carl “Flash” Tundo on 21 and former Champion Baldev Chager third on 18.

KNRC TABLE AFTER ROUND 1-NAKURU

KNRC DIVISION 1 DRIVERS

1 Mahesh Halai 25

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2 Sohanjeet Puee 21

3 Amaar Haq 18

4 Karan Patel 15

KNRC DIVISION 1 CO-DRIVER

1 Ketan Halai 25

2 Adnan Din 21

3 Victor Okundi 18

4 James Mwangi 15

KNRC DIVISION 2 DRIVERS

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1 Issa Amwari 25

KNRC DIVISION 2 CO-DRIVERS

1 Mwangi Waithaka 25

KNRC GROUP N CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVERS

1 Mahesh Halai 25

2 Ammar Haq 21

KNRC GROUP N CO-DRIVERS

1 Ketan Halai 25

2 Victor Okundi 21

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KNRC OVERALL DRIVERS

1 Onkar Rai 25

2 Carl Tundo 21

3 Baldev Chager 18

4 Tejveer Rai 15

5 Mahesh Halai 12

6 Sohanjeet Puee 10

7 Ammar Haq 8

8 Issa Amwari 6

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9 Karan Patel 4

KNRC OVERALL CO-DRIVERS

1 Gavin Laurence 25

2 Tim Jessop 21

3 Ravi Soni 18

4 Zahir Shah 15

5 Ketan Halai 12

6 Adnan Din 10

7 Victor Okundi 8

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8 Mwangi Waithaka 6

9 James Mwangi 4

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