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Rally cars, drivers head for Athi rumble

Finally, the sky and weather gods have held the clouds paving way for the fourth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) this weekend at Athi River and Machakos after having been postponed several timesowing to downpour and impassable roads.

Twenty crews who went through scrutineering Fiday are in action Saturday as the rally is flagged of from Stoni Athi Resort for the 384.53km rally that will be run on one hundred percent private land in Athi River and Kapiti Plains in Machakos.

Drivers will cover 176.32 km competitive distance divided in three stages that are to be repeated twice. The longest stage is 49km long while the shortest is 14km. the transport section is 208.21km long.

“We have been ready for this leg for a long time but the heavy rains witnessed in April forced us to amend the calendar and move KNRC’s third leg to October and the fourth to June, after the rains, for safety purposes,” said Kenya Motorsport Federation general manager Njoroge Mwaura.

Championship leader Baldev Charger and co-driver Ravi Soni will be first off the ramp in a Mitsubishi Evo 10 followed by reigning Africa Rally champion Manvir Baryan and long time navigator Drew Sturrock in their title winning Skoda Fabia. Baryan is ninth on the standings with 15 points from the first leg having retired from the Safari Rally which was the second leg of the KNRC and ARC.

Safari winner Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, who is second on the standing at 50 points, three behind leader Charger is third off the ramp and will be looking to go top of the standings with a win in the one day Athi River event.

Karan Patel and his navigator James Mwangi, Onkar Rai and co- driver Gavin Lawrence complete the first five on the road with Farhaaz Khan, Eric Bengi, Jasmeet Chana, Amaanraj Rai and Mahesh Halai staring in the top 10 in that order. Khan and Bengi are tied third on the standings at 29 points while Rai who did not finish his race at the Safari is fifth at 25 points.

Missing from the start list is last season’s KNRC champion Ian Duncan who is skipping his second rally in 2018 having only participated in the 2018 season opening leg staged in Nakuru finishing third for 18 points.

The rally counts for nine national titles that include KNRC overall title for drivers and co-drivers, Group N, Division One, Division Two, Division Three, Classic Car, Supplementary Class, Two-wheel Drive and Specially Prepared Vehicles class.

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