NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Lovejyot Singh savored his maiden 4WD Turbo win as the first round of the KCB Kenya National Autocross Championship culminated at The Waterfront Karen on Saturday.
The LJ Racing team driver had his campaign effectively sewn up when defending champion Sahib Omar ran into mechanical gremlins. Sahib, who is gunning for back-to-back titles this year, broke two rear drive shafts to settle for third overall.
Rally driver Karan Patel went home with two bonus championship points after setting the Fastest Time of the Day (FTD). He wrapped up his day’s 4WDT campaign in second overall position.
Lovejyot was all smiles after a dry and dusty day on the track. “When I came home in the morning I learnt of top drivers and felt quite nervous. So, I knew I was going to attack at the way to keep up with the pack. The track set up was a lot similar to what we did last year, so I stuck to my lines and mastered the track,” said Lovejyot
Girl rider Kiana Rajput won the Pee Wee Class for the kids. His elder brother Yuvraj Rajput won the Bambino Class.
Newcomer Brandon Nganga clocked a cumulative time of 03.40.18 to beat debutant Neel Gohil who managed 04.42.60.
Defending champion Zameer Verjee started off his campaign with victory in 2WD NT Class beating Abdul Razak Rehan and Noor Rehman to the podium dash.
Karan Patel was using the event to dust-off a few cobwebs prior to the season-opening KNRC event to be held in Soysambu on the weekend of February 20-21.
The rising KNRC star entered his championship-winning ex-Baldev Chager Subaru GC8 in 4WD Non Turbo Class.
“I’m definitely enjoying myself. It’s been a while since I was in the car- so it’s quite a good feeling. We will be testing our R5 car (Ford Fiesta) well in time for the first rally event. We always do that prior to a rally to ensure that the car is in good working order.”
The Sikh Union round welcomed to the sport a host of new drivers including Neel Gohil (2WD NT) Qahir Rahim (2WD Turbo)
Zameer Verjee who is defending his 2WD NT title looked very impressive on his lines despite an injury he sustained in a karting event at TGRV where he tore a ligament of his ankle.
Organizers Sikhn Union Club ran three heats instead of four in a bid to the high number of entries which saw 42 drivers sign up.
“It’s been quite tough with the injury but I’m glad I made it through the heat runs. Happy to be back in the seat again. I’m hoping the injury will have healed well in time for the next race,” said Zameer.
This was the first motorsport event in the country since March 2020 when the government banned social gathering due to the novel Corona virus.
Speaking during the award ceremony, KCB Group Marketing and Communication Director Wanyi Mwaura said the bank will continue supporting autocross events in 2021.
“KCB is delighted to be part of this event as the title sponsor. We recently renewed our commitment to autocross with our sponsorship for staging this year’s series,” Mwaura said.