NAIROBI, Kenya- Two-wheel drive Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) series leader, Leonardo Varese, is out to seal the title on Sunday during the 38th Guru Nanak Rally in and around Naivasha.
The event will also witness the return of two local favourites- Issa Amwari in the KNRC main competition and Varese’s long-time two-wheel drive arch-rival, Charles Hinga- who are returning to action after long sabbaticals.
Varese is aiming for a podium finish in his bid to clock the 100 mark on the championship log with the two-wheel title chase officially a two horse race between him and Nyorri who will be praying that the former stumbles.
Varese leads the series with 88 points with Nyorri a distant second on 32.
“We want to secure the championship early and test our new Toyota Auris in the next two rounds.
“The Auris is being built by Adin ‘Paps’ Haq at his Valley Arcade workshop in Nairobi. Hinga is one of the drivers everyone would want to compete against due to his pace in past championships. He will definitely spice up the two-wheel drive completion,” said Varese.
Hinga is making a comeback to the national series after a long sabbatical and will be navigated by Absalom Aswani.
Varese won the first two events in Mombasa and Safari but never scored points in Eldoret due to lack of a quorum of three drivers. He also won the Fly 540 RSC Rally in Kajiado in which all the two wheelers retired.
Amwari is returning to the KNRC after he pulled out last season when his partnership deal with Menengai Oil elapsed and his merry band of vocal supporters will invade Naivasha urging him on to a finish or better in his Mitsubishi Evolution X.
“I have no sponsors but my fans have come in to see me rally. It a good feeling to sit back in a rally car and enjoy the sport you have passion with above all the favour from God,” Amwari, who will be navigated by Job Njiru, told SportPesa News on Wednesday.
With only 13 points separating the top five in the KNRC, the Multiple Hauliers sponsored Guru Nanak is in for a season defining battle that could separate the men from the boys in the main event.
Attention will be firmly fixed at the top where Ian Duncan (72) leads the 2017 KNRC despite not winning any of the past four rounds with Multiple Racing Team pair of Manvir Baryan (68) and national champion, Tapio Laukkanen (63) hot on his heels.
Baryan and Laukkanen have claimed two victories apiece this season with multiple champion, Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo (60) and Karan Patel (59) in with a shout of claiming glory at the end of the campaign.
The top five will face stiff opposition from former African and Kenyan Champion Jaspreet Singh Chatthe and another former titleholder; Baldev Singh Chager who recently participated in the Balkan Classic of Bulgaria.
The Two Wheel Drive has attracted Charles Hinga in the ex-Eric Bengi Championship winning Toyota RunX, former champion Leonardo Varese in a Toyota Corolla RSI, Sam Karangatha in a Subaru 2WD and Sammy Nyorri who will be driving his traditional Toyota Run X.
Other entrants include Geoff Mayes who will have a new British based co-driver calling the notes for him.
According to Clerk of the Course Sinder Sudle, three stages Hay Gate-Eland (31.3km), Nyati (24.85km) and Aberdare (22.85km) will be repeated twice to make up a competitive mileage of 158km and a liaison distance of 196.31km.
The service park which will be visited thrice on the day and will be based at Bufallo Mall in Naivasha. The designated spectator stage will be based at Aberdares Hill.
KNRC STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4
- Ian Duncan 72points
- Manvir Baryan 68
- Tapio Laukkanen 63
- Carl “Flash” Tundo 60
- Karan Patel 59
- Baldev Singh Chager 58
- Jassi Singh Chatthe 36
- Onkar Singh Rai 33
- Farhaaz Khan 28
10= Tejveer Rai /Quentin Mitchel 12
GURU NANAK RALLY ENTRIES
- Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi EVOX)
- Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Subaru Impreza)
- Geoff Mayes/ Charley Sayer-Payne (Land Rover V8)
- Carl “Flash” Tundo/Tim Jessop
- Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (Skoda R5)
- Stefano Roca/Piers Daykin (Datsun)
- Karan Patel/James Mwangi Harrison (Mitsubishi EVO10)
- Ammar Haq/Victor Okundi (Subaru Impreza)
- Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Mitsubishi EVO10)
- Amaanraj Rai (Ford Fiesta-RAI RACING)
- Tapio Laukkanen/Gavin Laurence (Subaru)
- Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Skoda)
- Edward Maina/Tony Kimondo
- Ramesh Vishram/Riyaz Ismail (Ford Escort MK2)
- Farhaaz Khan/Keith Henrie (Mitsubishi)
- Osman Abdullahi/George Mwangi
- Natasha Tundo/Chantal Young (Subaru Impreza)
- Piero Cannobio/Sylvia Frigo (Mitsubishi)
- Sammy Nyorri/Mwangi Waithaka (Toyota RunX)
- David Kioni/Edward Njoroge (Subaru GC8)
- Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Mitsubishi Evo10)
- Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (Mitsubishi EVO10)
- Eric Bengi/Tuta Mionki (Subaru Impreza)
- Dr. Raj Jutley/M. Etienne (Datsun)
- Sam Karangatha/Edward Ndukui (Subaru)
- Charles Hinga/Absalom Aswani (Toyota RunX)
- Rajesh maini/Devan Bhundia (MK1)
- Raaji Bharij/Rajay Sehmi (MK1)
- Issa Amwari/Job Njiru (Mitsubishi Evolution 10)
- Daren Miranda/Wayne Fernandez (Subaru)
- Jansher Sandhu/Gurveer Pandhal (Mitsubishi Evo10)