- The Awards are scheduled for January 28
- The best performing drivers, navigators and personnel will be feted
- National champion Karan Patel expected to scoop biggest award
The Kenya Motor Sports Federation (KMSF) will fete all its championship winners during the 2022 Annual Awards Gala to be held at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday January 28, 2023.
The crème de la crème of Kenya’s Motorsports will converge at the prime venue after drivers took a break from their busy schedules for 2022 Christmas and New Year festivities.
As is usually the norm, the episode will culminate with the naming of the Motorsports Personality-of-the-Year 2022 who will officially be incorporated into the growing list of winners who have held the coveted award from way back since 1960.
The top personality award is usually discreet and, for starters, shall only be revealed on the gala night which will be graced by several dignitaries drawn from the corporate sector and Ministry of Sports.
In hindsight, the first two awards were won by the legendary Vic Preston Snr in 1960 and 1961 before his son Vic Preston Jnr inscribed his name on the coveted silverware in the 1977 edition.
Former award winners
Among the motor personalities who racked up the fabled award are the likes of racing guru in the late Joginder Singh, who was colloquially known as Simba Wa Kenya in 1976 and Ann Taeith who became the first lady not only to win a KNRC but also emerge triumphant in 1984.
Others are lady navigator Tuta Mionki in 2018, Phineas Kimathi in 2019, Ian Duncan thrice in 1987, 2003 and 2010 and Patrick Njiru twice, in 1990 and 1996.
The chronology of events is incomplete without mention of Baldev Chager aka Boldy who emerged the top personality of the 2007 and 2013 awards.
Those to be feted on the auspicious occasion for their exemplary performance in 2022 include double champions Karan Patel and his younger sibling Kush Patel.
Karan was incredulous as he won a total of 10 events in Kenya and across the continent and was crowned the Kenya National Rally Champion at Mwatate’s Teita Sisal estates with victory in the season-closing Guru Nanak round.
Significantly and over and above the overall KNRC trophy, Karan will also receive the KNRC Division One trophy which completes a deserved double after signing for RedBull later last year.
His brother Kush and navigator Mudasar Chaudry laid claim to the KNRC Division 2 and Group S titles incidentally on the former’s very first full season of racing.
Leonardo Varese and his longstanding partner Kigo Kareithi won the KNRC 2WD and Division 3 titles with an incredible 100pc finish record.
Iceman also in the running
Jasmeet Chana, aka “Iceman”, finished second in the battle for the overall KNRC title but will officially be bestowed with the national Group N award together with his brother Ravi Chana in the duo’s most successful season.
Jasmeet is one of the few Kenyan drivers who have won championship titles in virtually all the KNRC categories of racing as much as the overall title still remains elusive. Chana lost the KNRC title to Karan on homestretch and is determined to up his game in the season opening RSC round in February.
During a site visit at Kasarani Stadium, Faith Wathome, the Chairperson of the Awards Committee remarked: “The 2022 Awards Ceremony is customized to enhance entertainment value and will go down in the annals of Motorsports as the most spectacular edition ever.,’’
‘Unlike in the previous years, the upcoming awards will entail an elegant drive to the podium by all the KMSF overall champions in the Tarmac, Karting, Rally-Sport, Autocross, 4X4 and Rally Raid disciplines.”
She expounded:” The gala night shall take place outside the presidential pavilion at Kasarani’s Main Stadium. Our able team is working round the clock to ensure all is well prior to the big day.”