NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Ian Duncan’s specially modified Toyota Hilux pickup is expected to take off first at 7am ahead of 25 other cars at the fifth leg of the 2019 Kenya National Rally Championship in Nanyuki.
Duncan will be navigated by veteran Tej Sehmi and will also score points for the non-homologated Specially Prepared Vehicles (SPV) category which has attracted the likes Geoff Mayes in a Land Rover and physically challenged Nikhil Sachania in a hand-controlled Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX.
Second off the ramp will be defending champion and five-time Safari Rally winner Carl “Flash” Tundo and his partner Tim Jessop in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10.
Tundo missed out on Kilifi Rally earlier in the month due to family commitments and is determined to make amends in his favorite rally.
Runaway leader Baldev Chager is seeded third ahead of back to back reigning African champion Manvir Baryan in a Skoda Fabia R5.
Onkar Rai on his second outing in the VW Polo is seeded fifth ahead of his elder sibling Tejveer Rai, Jasmeet Chana and Eric Bengi.
The 2.3km Batian View Stage will be the designated spectator viewing point as the other two sections – Loldaiga Hills and Ndovu will be closed to spectators for safety reasons, according to Event Director Bimal Patel.
Loldaiga Hills has over the years been synonymous with Nanyuki Rally since they ran their first KNRC in 1998.
This year’s event has attracted 8 drivers in the KNRC Premier Class, 7 in the Division One category and 6 in Division 2. Several drivers will be seeking vital points to enhance their championship hopes in their respective classes.
Daren Miranda leads the Formula Two as he nurses dreams of winning his maiden title in his longstanding rallying career. Tuta Mionki and Suzanne Zwager, are the only female rally drivers in the competition.
Tuta is navigating Eric Bengi and Zwager is calling the notes for Geoff Mayes.
Bengi has had a long period to sort out his reliability gremlins after skipping the Kilifi event but is backing off this time round in his bid to secure a maiden finish.
Bengi said: “It’s been some time since we drove the car. We had a long repair period after the Safari breakdown. We also couldn’t make it to Kilifi. Nanyuki is usually a very good event for us over the seasons and we are hoping to have good tidings this time round. Our plan is to take an easy drive drive for a finish, which we have really missed.”