- Chana is the current KNRC Log leader
- This will be the fifth stop of the KNRC circuit
- Karan Patel has pulled out due to issues with his car
Jasmeet ‘Iceman’ Chana will be looking to continue his dominance of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) when the circuit heads for its fifth stop in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret this weekend.
Chana, navigated by his elder brother Ravi Chana in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X marque is full of confidence and optimism, having performed well in the series so far with the revving machines having competed in Machakos, Naivasha and Nakuru and Voi.
Chana currently tops the KNRC log with 114 points, a mile off second placed McRae Kimathi who has amadded 60 after four events.
“We have run a pre-event test and it’s been a mad rush to keep the Evolution in good nick for Eldoret. As we kick-start the second half of the season, we’re definitely not letting the championship slip from our grasp as was the case last year,” said Chana.
Asked about his strategy for the Western Kenya Motor Club (WKMC) round, Chana quipped: “There is always the feeling of attacking and putting everything in.”
Eldoret’s gravel roads are technical and energy-sapping given the high altitude nature of the region which is synonymous with the old-type Safari and the event previously known as the Raymond Rally.
Karan Patel has withdrawn from the Rally
After finishing second in last year’s championship behind Karan Patel, Chana got his mitts on his maiden KNRC winner’s trophy in Nakuru before taking second spot in the WRC Safari KNRC category. Karan will however miss out on the Eldoret Rally after announcing late Thursday evening that he had faced troubles with his vehicle late on and had made the decision to pull out.
Kenya’s JWRC /WRC3 contender Hamza Anwar returns to the local championship after claiming a career best podium in Junior WRC in Estonia.
Hamza has entered a Mitsubishi Lancer and will be navigated by Adnan Din from Mombasa.
Also in the Eldoret mix is reigning champion Karan Patel who returns to the bucket seat of his old Mitsubishi Lancer.
Karan has been running a Ford Fiesta Rally 3 in international and local events and it will be interesting to see how he cruises in his EvoX.
Fourth off the ramp is Issa Amwar in an Evolution 10 followed by home driver Ghalib Haji in a similar car.
McRae and Jeremiah Wahome will both pilot their state-of-the-art M-Sport Poland prepared Ford Fiestas which feature in Rally 3 actegory in the FIA Rally Pyramid.
Legend Duncan also in the fray
Old boy Ian Duncan, outright winner of the 1994 WRC Safari Rally, has enlisted a Nissan 280 Z classic and will have his pace-notes called by Jaspal Matharu.
Also listed in the Classic category alongside Duncan is Sam Karangatha in a Datsun 180 B.
The Specially Prepared Vehicle (SPV) category has attracted two entrants in Jose Sardinha (Pajero Mitsubishi) and Navdeep Sadhu in a Subaru Leone.
Youngster Sameer Nanji has entered the event’s only Two Wheel Drive, a VW Golf Mk2 he’ll drive alongside Vinay Shah.
This year’s Eldoret Rally is an all high-altitude rally. The event will be flagged off outside Rupa Mall in Uasin Gishu County on Saturday August 5 before tackling repeat stages in Kaptagat, Bugar, Salabin.
The repeat run of the 17.4 Km Bugar stage (SS6) will serve as the Power Stage where the top three fastest drivers will be awarded bonus championship points.
The event’s Service Park will be centered on Iten in El;geyo Marakwet County better known as the “County of Champions”.
KNRC STANDINGS AFTER WRC KNRC SAFARI
1 Jasmeet Chana 114
2 McRae Kimathi 60
3 Nikhil Sacania 44
4 Carl Tundo 39
5 Kush Patel 34
5= Karan Patel 34
7 Amman Shah 33
8 Jeremiah Wahome 30
9 Hamza Anwar 26
10 Izhar Mirza 23