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Cannobio raring to go with new Hyundai i20 in Kilifi

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Veteran driver Piero Canobbio. PHOTO/Courtesy
  • Cannobio will be driving the Hyundai i20 for the first time at sea level
  • He had retired from the Nanyuki Rally due to mechanical issues
  • The Kilifi Rally is scheduled for this coming weekend

Veteran driver Piero Canobbio will be banking on powering through some new found rhythm in his state-of-the-art Hyundai i20 NG Rally2 as the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) heads to Kilifi.

Cannobio will need to quickly forget his predicament at the last round of the Championship where he retired midway due to some mechanical challenges.

The former Mitsubishi Evolution 10 driver is among those enlisted for the Mombasa Motor Club Bamba Rally slated for his Kilifi hometown on Saturday October 15.

Piero will be hoping to rediscover the reliability of his new i20 N Rally2  against Nairobi drivers; among them series leader Karan Patel, second placed Jasmeet Chana and fast-paced Raaji Singh Bharij who will be returning to the national series in a Minti Motorsport Skoda Fabia Rally2.

This i20 N Rally2 car is the successor to its i20 R5 currently running in national and continental championships across the globe, as well as World Rally Championship’s third tier championship -WRC3.

First ever Hyundai Rally2

In addition to his spirited home-coming rally, Piero will also become the first ever driver to enter the MMC legof the national series in a Hyundai Rally2 machine and he is overly excited about it.

“It always a great pleasure coming home with a new car and indeed the much-needed speed. But then again, there is always that pressure to perform on home turf.”

“We have experienced a few teething problems with the car which is normal when trying to come to grips with something new.  We ran the car in Nanyuki and also entered one of our clubman rallies though we never finished,” narrated Piero.

Asked about his strategy on home turf, Piero went on to explain: “it’s always great to show consistency and pace, so, we shall make all the local knowledge count at home. We shall attack where possible and try to conserve the car when it’s rough.”

Piero is an old hand in the sport having started his racing in Italy in the 1980s and teaming up with codrivers like Capelini Giorgio, T. Gianfranco and Roggero Pacio.

He has driven quite a number of cars in Italy including the Lancia Delta in 1987, Lancia 037 in 1986 and the Autobranch A112 Abarth in 1980.

He performed well in quite a number of rallies in Italy including Rally Piancavallo which he won thrice in succession in 1980, 81 and 82.

Done number of championships in Africa

In Africa, Peiro has done many Kenya Nationals as well as FIA African Rally Champion events in Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.

In 2017, he finished 8th overall on Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally and retired on the Oryx Energies Rally of Tanzania the same year.  His last full season of KNRC was last year when he entered most of the events with Shameer Yusuf.

Meanwhile, reconnaissance for the MMC round shall take place in the Bamba area on Friday October 14. On the same day as recce, Kilifi Mall will be the venue Scrutineering Checks.

The Ceremonial Start, Finish and Prize Giving shall take place on Saturday October 15 at Bamba Mwezamoyo School.

Three stages -KWFT (38.00km), Mirima Wa Ndege (26.36km) and Jila (16.24km) -will be repeated to make up a competitive run of 161.30km. The liaison distance is 116km while the total distance is 277.50km.

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