Newly-crowned African champion Jaspreet “Jassi” Chatthe will be seeking to complete a rare double this Saturday during the KCB Nakuru Rally.
Should Chatthe finish in top eight, he will become the first-ever local driver to win both the African Rally Championship and KNRC titles in the same season. Speaking during the pre-event briefing at Shell Westlands station, Chatthe said running in two championships has been hectic.
“I’m glad we brought the continental title back to Kenya after 31 years, it’s been a very hard year running two championships. I have been to six countries competing and it was a good experience flying Kenya’s flag,” said Chatthe. David Horsey was the last Kenyan to win the title in 1984 in a Peugeot 504 p/up.
For Chatthe to win the KNRC title, he needs just 4.5 points out of the two remaining rounds of the series. Chatthe is among the drivers enlisted for Nakuru. 1994 WRC Safari Rally winner Ian Duncan teaming up with Amaar Slatch in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX will be the first off the ramp.
While Chatthe will be targeting a maiden championship and his third win, Duncan will be going for his second win of the season after emerging the victor in Kajiado in May. Three times KNRC championship Carl “Flash” Tundo is seeded second followed by Onkar Rai, Baldev Chager and Manvir Baryan.
Rajbir Rai who won Nakuru Rally in Eldama Ravine last year will rev off in sixth place. Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen is seeded 8th. The Rift Valley Motor and Sports Club (RVM&SC) event has attracted 10 cars in KNRC S Class including leader Murage Waigwa, James Kirimi, Edward Maina and Hussein Malik, among others.
The Classic car class has five entries including Aslam Khan in a Porsche Carrera, Rob Hellier in a Datsun 160J and Samit Ghelot in a Ford Escort MK1. Ghello is participating in his first rally this season. 2WD championship race is a three-man affair pitting champion Leonardo Varese, leader Eric.
Bengi and Sammy Nyorri. Varese said: “We are going to keep the pressure up, same as we did in Machakos. We proved we had an extra gear in Machakos. We are going for victory in Nakuru.” S Class leader Murage Wa Waigwa said he will be going for the jugular this weekend.
“Nakuru was my first KNRC event last year and it will be good to be back there fighting for S Class honors. There is a very strong Group Sentry this time round so we will see how recce goes.
We are going for nothing short of victory in Naks- meaning we will attack from the word go; and that is exactly what we will do. We have had a thorough going over of the GC8 and realised we have a reliable car for the remaining events of the season. We are optimistic of a strong finish,” Murage.