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Speed merchants gather in Nakuru

Dozens of “fast and furious” cars including Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, Subaru Imprezas and Porsches will rev-off from Nakuru town centre Saturday morning for the seventh and penultimate round of the Kenya National Rally Championship 2015.

Hundreds of spectators are also expected to gather at the ceremonial start venue to wave off competitors outside the KCB Menengai branch. After flag-off, rally cars will then tackle eight competitive stages around Alfega, T Farm, Molosirwa, Gicheha Farm, Hilltop regions.

The Spectator Stage, Rally HQs and Service Park will be centred at Albiza Camp (Menengai) near Sobea. Meanwhile, youngster McRae Kimathi is at it again since retiring with engine gremlins on his KNRC debut in Machakos last month.

The son of retired rally driver Phineas Kimathi has entered a Subaru Impreza GC8 and will be navigated by George Mwangi who incidentally is the only black indigenous African to win the Safari Rally when he guided Azar Anwar to the memorable feat in 2006.

The 2WD category has attracted quite a big chunk of Toyotas including RunX machines of leader Eric Bengi and Sammy Nyorri, the Corolla RSI of defending champion Leonardo Varese and the Sprinter GT of Alex Lairang’i. 2WD’s Gurmit Thethy hopes to take the fight to Toyota drivers in his VW MK3 which is one of the few remaining racing cars of the historic car make in Kenya currently.

Nyorri has aways savoured the rivalry in the category which first began with former champion Dennis Mwenda and rose a notch higher to Bengi. Mwenda who won the 2WD Championship in 2013 in Lairang’s current Toyota Sprinter GT has since graduated to KNRC Division 2 in an ex-Issa Amwari Evo9 owned and serviced by Silverspread Team Meru.

Natasha Tundo, who will be navigated by Chantal Louis Young in the Rally Chix Subaru N10, and Tuta Mionki who will team-up with Murage Waigwa in a Subaru GC8, are among the female competitors enlisted for Nakuru Rally which was won by Frank Tundo in 1978.

The itinerary for the rally, which starts on Saturday 7am sharp has attracted Kenya’s “big guns” and foreigners who include two times Uganda champion Jas Mangat. Manvir Baryan teaming up with Drew Sturrock of Britain in the state of the art Ford Fiesta R5, Rajbir Rai in a similar make, newly crowned African champion Jaspreet Chatthe (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10), Ian Duncan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10), Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo (Evo10), Quentin Mitchell (Skoda Fabia 2000) and Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen in a Subaru Impreza .

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