57 drivers enlist for Nanyuki Advantage rally

57 drivers enlist for Nanyuki Advantage rally

57 drivers enlist for Nanyuki Advantage rally

Said Hamad

Legendary driver Ian Duncan, two-times Champion Alastair Cavenagh and current  Safari Rally winner Carl "Flash" Tundo are among 57 drivers who will be eyeing a virtuoso display in this weekend's KCB Advantage Banking Rally in Nanyuki, Timau and Loldaiga.The three speed merchants have confirmed participation in what is billed as one of the fiercest man and machine battle on home soil in recent times.

Predicting as to who will grab the honors is a hard undertaking and it will solely depend on whoever will take his chances, though the obvious is that fans should expect high adrenaline action.

Out of the 57 entries, 25 of them will participate in Group N class, 13 in Two Wheel Driver, three in the Classic Car Cup, two in the SPV (Specially Prepared Vehicle) class and 14 in  Group S Class.

The Nanyuki Rally Group (NRG) organized event is the sixth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship.

It features the second biggest entry this year after the Diamond Jubilee Safari Rally which attracted a record 84 drivers.The season opening Nyeri tour had 53 entries, Mombasa had 55 while Nakuru had one shy.

The NRG round will incorporate among others two Nairobi-based newcomers in Jeff Mburu and Caroline Gatimu.  Gatimu becomes the latest female driver to join the ever rising numbers in the women crews .

But in as much Gatimu is a rookie, it will be suicidal to underrate her if her current pace is anything to go by.

Like the "Haraka Mamas", "Warembo Bila Make-Up" and the "Rally Queens" who are increasing with each event, Gatimu and the likes of Tash Di Cangio are among the women making deeper inroads into mastering what has been perceived to be a male dominated sport.

"I love the fact that there are so many women who have partaken the sport and diversification is the way to go. It's also encouraging that we are being taken seriously.  I mean Bella (Erskine) coming second in Mombasa last month was just fantastic - it’s so nice to have all the ladies there," said Tash.

Tash, daughter of the famous Tundo rally family, made her maiden appearance in the sport when she navigated his father Frank Tundo and guided him to fifth place during last year's KCB Mtaani Rally in Mariakani in December 2011.

Mburu, son of former F2 Champion Peter Mburu has entered his father's ex-Toyota Levin navigated by Rodney Muriuki. Gatimu, on the other hand, teams up with Linet Ayuko in Dennis Mwenda's VW Golf Gti.
Making a comeback in the groove is former F2 contender Munir Khan who is returning from sabbatical with his ex-Jasmeet Chana VW Golf.
Denis Mwenda has a new car and is determined to ruffle feathers in Nanyuki. He  has acquired  a 2000 model Toyota Sprinter GT which is a 1600cc 20 Valve machine with a 6 speed gearbox.

"We have put in some good work in it and can only wait for the race to begin.  The machine was built by Multi Dimensional Engineering of Imran Mogul. We have done some tests and we are happy with the performance so far but proper testing ground is undoubtedly the Nanyuki rally," said Mwenda.

Nanyuki Rally Group (NRG)-organizers of this weekend’s event- have announced that they will run two Competitive Stages on Friday instead of the usual one Spectator Stage as earlier planned.
Clerk of the Course, Nazir Nakub  said they are in the process of finalizing preparations for the event to be held on Friday and Saturday.

“You will all concur with the fact that this presents a unique challenge – but we believe we have managed to address any issues that have cropped up,” explained Nazir.

Nazir said that the Friday run will start from the KCB Branch at 13.30hrs and proceed to the first Competitive Stage of 18 kilometers in Gathiuru followed by a 45 minutes Holding before completing the Batian View Spectator Stage of 5 kilometers.

“As per our Itinerary, the last 10 cars may be running after 1800 hrs into the Spectator Stage of 5 kms – even if we reduce or do away with the holding period altogether,” Nazir expounded.

He added: “Thereafter the Cars will go into a 20 minutes service and head for the Parc Ferme at Sportsmans Arms Hotel.
The rally will revolve around Timau, Loldaiga and the Gathiuru forest.

Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (EVO9);   Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (EVO9); Alastair Cavenagh/Gavin Laurence (EVO9);  Baldev S. Chager/R. Sehmi (Subaru N16); Peter Horsey/Bella Erskine (EVOX); Azar Anwar/Julius Ngige (EVO8); Quentin Mitchell/Chris Davis (Subaru N16); Raaji Bharij/Geoff Mayes (EVO9); Hardeep Rehsi/Ravi Soni (EVO9); Onkar Rai/Raju Chagger (Subaru N16); Izhar Mirza/Zahir Shah (EVO9); Frank Tundo/Natasha De Cangio (EVO9);  Don Smith/Bobb Kaugi (Subaru 12); Charles Hinga/Job Njiru (EVO7); Imran Mogul/Atul Kocchar (SubaruN12); Jaswinder Chana/Ravi Chana (Toyota Celica GT4);  Manvir S. Baryan/Nicola Arena-Italy (Subaru); Tejvir Rai/George Mwangi (Subaru 16); John Nganga/George Njoroge (Subaru N10);  Jasmeet Chana/Rohit Bhudia (Toyota Celica GT4); Ben Muchemi/Evans Mwenda (EVO7);  Jaspreet S. Chathe/Gugu Panesar (EVO9); Ghalib Haji/Sinder Sudle (EVOX); FahdBary/Shameer Yusuf (EVO9); John Muigai/ Allan Muhindi (Subaru); Edward Maina/Tonny Kimondo (Toyota Celica GT4); Samira Khan/Chantal Young(Ford Escort MK1); Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Subaru); Jonathan Somen/Richard Helche (Ford Escort MK2);  Joel Muchiri/Riyaz Ismail (Subaru); Stella Macharia/Hellen Shiri (Subaru); Hussein Malik/Stephen Nganga (Subaru);  Issa Amwari/Linet Ayuko (Subaru); Aslam Khan/Imran Khan (Porsche 911); Farhaaz Khan/Kavit Dave (Subaru); Nzioka Waita/Laban Cliff (Subaru); Aakif Virani/Tausef Khan (Subaru N10); Alasdar Keith/Tariq Malik (Subaru); Shaheed Wissanji/Mo Verje (Subaru);    Rashid Kabi/Nehreen Ismail (Subaru); Mohammed Noormohammed/Hassan Saleh (Subaru); Devan Bhundia/Jasneil Ghataure  (Subaru);  Manik Chodah/Elodie Sampere (Toyota L/C); Gurmit Thethy/Depinder Kalsi (VW Golf); Leonardo Varese/Kigo Kareithi (VW Golf); James Kirimi/Jonathan Kosgey (VW Golf); Patrick Kibaara/Julius Mwachuya (T. Levin); Nadeem Kana/James Mwangi (Subaru); Dennis Mwenda/Edward Njoroge (Toyota Sprinter); Joan Nesbitt/Tamara Jones (Toyota Tercel); Munir Khan/Rita Khan (VW Golf); Jeff Mburu/Rodney Muriuki (Levin); Victor Okundi/Tuta Mionki (T.
Vitz); ; Rajbir Rai/Supee Soin (VW Golf); Sammy Nyorri/Steven Nyorri (T. Vitz);  Caroline Gatimu/Linet Ayuko (VW Golf).

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