NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – The penultimate round of the 2023 Kenya National Rally Championship gets underway at this weekend’s prestigious Guru Nanak Rally (4 – 5 November) – and this year’s edition boasts a suitably star-studded entry.
Newly crowned champion Jasmeet Chana tops the entries in his championship winning Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, and will be joined in the cockpit by his elder brother Ravi Chana.
Also in the Guru Nanak mix is legendary Ian Duncan who has won the Guru Nanak a record 12 times. Duncan will pilot a Nissan 280Z classic car navigated by Jaspal Matharu.
The rally- which is sponsored by CFAO Motors (formerly Toyota Kenya)- has also attracted talented youngsters including Neel Gohil who is entered in the second-tier clubman category.
Gohil- son of retired rally driver Sushil Gohil- which will be making his debut in the training event which is run alongside the main KNRC.
Former multiple KNRC navigators’ champion Piers Daykin is entered in the classic category.
Daykin won the Guru Nanak twice navigating Lee Rose in a Mitsubishi and will be returning to the bucket seat of his car this time on the drivers seat.
Daykin will be navigated by Tariq Malik in a Datsun 280Z that he will be testing for this year’s East African Safari Classic Rally later in the year.
Samman Vohra, winner of last month’s KNRC7 KMSC Rally, returns with a Skoda Fabia Rally 2 car, and there are entries too for youngster Rajveer Thethy in a Subaru, Nikhil Sachania in a hand-controlled Evolution X and Jose Sardinha (Mitsubishi Pajero SPV).
The fabled rally, which is one of the oldest on the calendar, gets underway from the Service Park in Elementeita.
A total of four stages will be repeated to make up scintillating seven speed tests of which Soysambu and Sleeping Warrior will be repeated twice and Mbweha thrice.
The third run of Mbweha stage (the last stage on the itinerary) will serve at the Power Stage where three fastest drivers will be awarded bonus points on the KNRC points table.
“The event is an exciting run on the WRC Safari route and will run entirely on private land,” Clerk of the Course Qahir Rahim revealed.
Event Director Onkar Kalsi, on his part, promised competitors a spectacle in the great rift valley.
This year’s Guru Nanak Rally will count as the eighth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship
The event will feature a clubman category where greenhorn entrants will savour an opportunity to hone their skills in a proper rally set-up.
According to Qahir, the Clubman (which is basically a training rally) will be run in compliance with the FIA International Sporting Code, its appendices, the KMSF National Sporting Regulations and the National Rally Sport Regulations which comply with the FIA regulations and these Clubman Regulations.
The total Competitive distance for the Clubman rally is 69.48 km with a transport road section of 16.16 km and a total distance of 85.64 km.
The main class will feature a competitive mileage of 160.11km and a liaison distance of 32.8km.
Meanwhile, Rajveer Thethy’s navigator Wayne Fernandes have pronounced themselves ready for the event.
Fernandes first entered the Guru Nanak Rally in 2017, the year he started his rallying career.
“I took part in Guru Nanak of 2017 with Daren Miranda in a 2WD Subaru Impreza, where we finished 3rd in class. Guru Nanak Rally holds a special place in my heart. I have had the honor to be awarded the Randeep Lochab Memorial trophy 3 times, twice with Daren and once with Rajveer Thethy.” Fernandes explained.
This year Rajveer and Fernandes will be entering a Subaru N10 in the B13 class.
They both went out testing last weekend, and are looking forward to the Warrior and Soysambu stages.
“We are both looking forward to a great rally. Soysambu is always a fun, fast and flowing stage rally. And Sikh Union team of Onkar Kalsi, Rahim and Pipi Renu always put up a great show,” said Fernandes.
“We are also looking forward to being on the stage with upcoming youngster Neel Gohil who will be competing in his first ever KNRC Clubman and wish him all the best.”