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Man v Machine: Aberdare Raia Rally Ready To Spark To Life

Eric Bengi and Tuta Mionki in a Subaru Impreza N12 during a past rally. PHOTO/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya- The hills around Muranga, Makuyu and Ndakaini will reverberate with the roar of turbo charged machines when Aberdare Raia Rally sparks to life on the weekend of September 9 and 10.

Organisers Rallysport Kenya in conjunction with Raia Autosport have promised the participants an exhilarating man versus machine battle with over 20 drivers registered for the event that will feature hair raising thrills on high altitude gravel terrain.

With more entries expected to flow in from around the country, the first prominent names to confirm entry in the growing list of competitors are Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) 2WD champions Jasmeet Chana and Eric Bengi and current 2WD Drive Turbo Auto Cross leader; Shalien Mughal who will be showcasing his new Subaru N10 buggy.

Second-generation drivers including; Dan Nyorri, Shazar Anwar and Ken Nteere who participates in the National Autocross Championship are also in the mix.

Ken is son of the late Washington Nteere who drove in national rallies in the 90s, Shazar is the scion of the legendary multiple KNRC titleholder, Azar Anwar and Dan is a son to 2WD Championship contender Sammy Nyorri.

According to organiser Azar Anwar, the rally will feature three classes including Group K which is the entry level for newcomers, Group S which is a middle level also comprising SPVs and group R which is the high performance group.

Scrutineering and reconnaissance will take place on September 9.

The rally will be flagged off at Golden Palm Hotel near Thika Road’s Kenol Filling Station at 7am on September 10 and end at Kangari Technical College and will feature six competitive stages, three of which will be repeated to make up a total of nine.

Rally HQS will be centred at the start from September 9 after which it will move to Kangari after the start.

Spectator viewing

The total distance will be 225km with a competitive mileage of 125 km.

The designated spectator viewing point that will be repeated twice is at Mairi Secondary School.

Mairi stage is a 22km stretch, which goes through Ndakaini Dam then up and down the escarpment.

Clerk of the Course; George Njoroge, said the objective of the event is to help whip up the enthusiasm of upcoming competitors who cannot afford the hefty KNRC budget.

“All you need are basic requirements like a roll cage, helmet and safety harness, also tow ropes and fire extinguishers etc.” Njoroge said.

Bengi who is the outgoing Two Wheel Drive Champion will be navigated by his championship winning lady navigator Tuta Mionki aka Tuts while former KNRC Two Wheel and Group S champion Chana will be unveiling his newly acquired ex-Johnny Hellier Mitsubishi Gallant VR4.

“It’s such a good feeling knowing that the car you are driving has previously been driven by a legend and it’s one of the most gratifying thing when you own such a car,” said Jasmeet aka Iceman.

“It has been a long sit out since Kajiado rally in June and we are definitely very rusty. We chose to enter the Raia rally to refresh ahead of the next Kenya National, ” Bengi added.

Aberdare Raia Rally Provisional Entry List:

1.P. Kibaara/ Giks Wamuyu

  1. Steve Mwangi/ Kosgei
  2. Eric Njogu/ Steve Nyorri
  3. Shalien Mughal/Imran Hakada- Subaru N10 Buggy
  4. Sudir Wason/Cody Wason-Subaru RX Turbo
  5. Steve Gacheru/ TBA
  6. Sam Karangatha/ Edward Ndukui-Subaru
  7. Eric Bengi/ Tuta Mionki
  8. Osman Abdullahi/George Mwangi – Subaru N14
  9. S. Nyorri/ Mwangi kioni- RunX
  10. D. Nyorri/ Jessie Simbolei- Toyota Vitz
  11. Davy Kahugu/ TBA
  12. Captain G/ Denis Mwenda
  13. Jeff Ominde- Subaru
  14. Shazar Anwar- Makmende
  15. Shabaz Anwar- Duma Buggy
  16. Henry Nyoike/ TBA
  17. Jasmeet Chana
  18. Issa/ TBA
  19. 20 Ken Nteere/ Linet Ayuko-Subaru N10

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