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Leader Kunal battles Shalien in Autocross homestretch

Kunal Patel raises the dust in a past KCB Autocross round. Photo/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – A high noon is anticipated as the Two Wheel Drive Turbo category in the KCB Autocross 10 goes down to the wire at Mombasa Cement factory racetrack in Vipingo on October 13.

Kunal Patel who is leading the category with 171 points will be engaged in a protracted battle with his closest challenger Shalien Mughal who has raked in 164 points thus far.

Although seven points adrift the table-topper, Shalien expressed optimism of upsetting the apple-cart.

“Preparations are going quite on point but I have a lot to do as I had crashed my buggy from the front and am working round the clock to get it up and running. We are going to fight for championship into this last round. Even though it’s a slim chance the strategy is quite simple. We will give it our best on the day and hopefully hope to win. For us to beat Kunal for the title, we will have to win and hope he finishes third or below.”

On his part, Kunal says he is expecting another close battle with Mughal in a rivalry that has elicited a lot of interest among fans.

Kunal hopes his buggy will be in tip-top shape for the sea level extravaganza.

“The buggy is still not ready after the Hill Climb; hopefully we can get it ready in time. I’m looking forward to a strong finish in Vipingo,” said Kunal.

In the meantime, a fierce fight is in the offing between third place Shaz Esmail aka Coach and fourth placed Imran Hakada who are separated by a point.

In the 2WD Non-Turbo class, championship victory for Zameer Verjee seems a foregone conclusion as he boasts of an unassailable lead of 190 points with Sahir Mughal who follows him in the pecking order with 154 points assured of a second place finish.

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Indefatigable Rajveev Thethy is way behind in the third position with 76 points after skipping two races.

In the 4WD Turbo class where Sahib Omar, the fastest autocross competitor this season, is enjoying a significant lead of 144 points followed by Nanyuki’s Ken Nteere and Michael Maina with 84 and 75 points respectively.

But Sahib, who has just turned 33, has no choice but to grace the Mombasa Motor Club (MMC) organized round in order to meet the 80% threshold for winning the championship title.

In the Quad class, Wayne who has a lead of 160 points will give the competition a wide berth though his championship is safe for a good measure.

There is a likelihood that the kids class (Pee Wee) will be skipped since the leader Tsorav Soni (164 points) and Kiana Rajput (34) points are bound by commitments.

In Bambino Class, Illyun Mughal who lies second (131 points) will be a lone ranger as the series leader Yuvraj Rajput (171 points) and third placed Tsezi Soni have opted to skip the seaon-closer.

Mombasa will be represented by among others reigning Coast Rally Champion Naushad Kara Lota aka Mr Subaru (4WDT) and Yusuf Pasta (2WD NT) in a Rage Buggy.

-National Autocross standings after round 9

2WD NT CLASS

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1 Zameer Verjee 190

2 Sahir Mughal 154

3 Rajveer Thethy 76

4 Sameer Nanji 75

5 Noor Rahman 56

6 Safina Khah 40

7 Albert Kigen 30

8 Junaid Shah 14

9 Hamza Anwar 13

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10 Mohamed Noor 12

2WD T CLASS

1 Kunal Patel 171

2 Shalien Mughal 164

3 Shaz Ismail 116

4 Imran Hakada 114

5 Nazir Verjee 85

6 Laban cliff Onserio 13

7 Azaad Manji 13

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4WD T CLASS

1 Sahib Omar 144

2 Ken Nteere 84

3 Michael Maina 75

4 Rehan shah 69

5 Eric Bengi 39

6 John Ng’ang’a 26

7 McRae Kimathi 26

8 Jackson Wandeto 25

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9 George Njoroge 25

10 Eugene Kariuki 21

11 John Ngugi 20

12 Jasminder Bharij 17

13 Peter Mutuma 17

14 Aakif Virani 15

15 Andrew Muchemi 14

16 Steve Gacheru 10

17 Murage Waigwa 8

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OPEN CLASS

1 Imran Hakada 177

2 Kirit Rajput122

3 Shelien Mughal 51

4 Hamza Anwar 15

5 Savraj Bhui 15

6 Jackson Wandeto 14

QUAD CLASS

1 Wayne Fernandes 160

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BAMBINO CLASS

1 Yuvraj Rajput 171

2 Illyun Mughal 131

3 Tsevi Soni 122

PEE WEE CLASS

1 Tsorav Soni 164

2 Kiana Rajput 34

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