VIPINGO, Kenya, Dec 24 – Kenya National Rally Championship Premier Class driver Izhar ‘Izzy’ Mirza and his navigator Kavit Dave sealed their maiden Coast Rally Championship titles after an emphatic win on the final round of the rally at Vipingo’s Mombasa Cement grounds.
They become the first crew from the Coast Pekee stable to lay their hands on the coveted title.
Izhar who is also the stable’s lead driver had his Championship campaign effectively sewn up when Paras Pandya exited the Mombasa Motor Club organized event with mechanical gremlins.
“We hit a rock and broke the oil cooler, so we decided to retire rather than damage the engine further,” Pandya said on his exit.
Izhar, who joined the elite KNRC Premier Class this year, takes over the coveted title from Naushad Kara Lota who finished fourth overall in the last round behind Piero Cannobio and newly crowned KNRC Division One Champion Ammar Haq.
Izzy was ecstatic about his first title. “Feels good, a dream come true,” said the newly crowned Coast drivers champion after winning the final round with zest and vigor.
“I mean, winning the Johnny Hellier Momorial trophy for the best placed MMC driver on the coast round of the KNRC and indeed the last round of the Club series to clinch the championship is an amazing feeling,”
“We approached the season-ender with the requisite caution. The last stage gave us some hair-raising thrills where we picked a puncture and drove on it to the very end,” he added.
Reigning KNRC S Class Champion Sohanjeet Puee failed to master the MCL terrain and this is what he had to say:
“The Mombasa training rally was amazing, I had a really good time on that fantastic track apart from the searing heat conductions and the two punctures I suffered of which the second one caused me to retire on the last round.”
Arjun, who drove an old GC8 and navigated by Dinesh Varsani, came fifth ahead of Amit Vaja/Willy Kabata and Akbar Khan in sixth and seventh
Arjun remarked: “The rally was good. We had loads of fun. The track was amazing. Unfortunately, we broke our pipe going into the turbo hence lost all the power on the first stage but we carried on to finish.”