The self-styled ‘Home of Champions’ Eldoret is synonymous with celebrated Kenyan middle and long-distance runners.
This weekend, the serenity that attracts world class athletes will be broken to host to the latest round of the local battle between man and machine.
The hills around Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet will reverberate with the roar of turbo-charged and aspirated normal cars when the third round of this year’s Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) gets underway on Saturday morning.
The 2017 Raiply Eldoret Rally will revisit the high-altitude terrain used during at last year’s edition save for the designated spectator stage at Chemweno Farm that will be run in the opposite direction, according to Clerk of the Course Sinder Sudle.
The first car will be flagged off at Sirikwa Hotel at 7am after which crew will tackle a 21.75Km transport road section through to the first stage at Sergoit.
The technical and ceremonial finish will be centered at Chemweno, which is also the venue for the Service Park and Rally Headquarters. Scrutineering will take place on Friday at Sirikwa.
“Due to the safely concerns, spectators and the service crew are being advised to use the route provided to get to the service. Both the rally cars and spectators will use Eldoret-Itern road up till Sergoit junction.
“They will all turn left at Moiben Road and do another 7km to the turn off Sergoit. At Sergoit crews will turn right to the first stage while spectators and the service crew will carry on straight towards Moiben for approximately 8km and turn right into Chemweno,” Sudle advised.
“The 11.40km Sergoit stage (CS1), will be run once and is a very fast on its first 7kms. The 5.02Km Chemweno spectator stage is the same as last year but will be run in opposite direction.
“Farm –Chebiemit (33.83km) is also the same as last year but slightly longer by 5km. The stage is very fast and demanding. Salabin Forest is the same as last year but due to the current wet conditions, the stage could turn out to be muddy though passable,” he added.
This rally has attracted all top drivers including champion and ‘Flying Finn’ Tapio Laukkanen, KNRC leader Ian Duncan, Carl Flash Tundo and Baldev Chager in what is projected to be a wet and muddy affair.
These are the conditions that Duncan, the winner of the 1994 Safari Rally when it was part of the World Rally Championship calendar thrives on.
The KNRC Two Wheel Drive class has attracted seasoned drivers in Leonardo Varese and Sammy Nyori while defending S Class Champion Chandrakhant Chandu Devji is back after skipping the first two rallies.
Western Kenya Motor Club are the organizers of Eldoret Rally.
KNRC DRIVERS STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2 (SAFARI)
- Ian Duncan 53
- Carl Tundo 45
- Tapio Laukkanen 38
- Karan Patel 33
- Manvir Baryan 31
WHERE TO CATCH RALLY ACTION (1st Car) –SATURDAY MAY- 13
07:00: Start: Sirikwa Hotel
07:33: CS1-Sergoit -Chemweno Farm House (11.40km)
07:54: CS2-Chemweno Spectator 1 (5.02Km)
SERVICE A (Chemweno)
08:37: CS3-Farm 1-Chebiemit 1 (33.83km)
09:30: CS4: Salabin 1 -Kimuron 1 (24.80km)
SERVICE B (Chemweno)
11:58: CS5-Farm 2-Chebiemit 2 (33.83km)
12:51: CS6: Salabin 2 -Kimuron 2 (24.80km)
13:49: CS7-Chemweno Spectator 2 (5.02Km)
SERVICE C (Chemweno)
14:09: SERVICE C OUT/PARC FERME IN
Competitive Distance: 138.70Km (59.65%)
Liaison Distance: 93.83 (40.35%)
Total Distance: 232.53Km