Good show at Rallycross edges Kenya closer to FIA competition

Machakos Rallycross championships overall winners Maxine Wahome (ladies), Ron Oakley (veterans), Hamza Anwar (junior) and Tim Jessop (champion). [Courtesy]

The inaugural Rallycross championships held at the Machakos People’s Park at the weekend has edged Kenya closer to the prestigious FIA World Rallycross Championship series.

This is due to the success of the contest that attracted top local drivers including multiple Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) winners Carl’ Flash’ Tundo and Baldev ‘Boldy’ Chager among others.

Ahead of Kenya’s debut in the World Series next year, the country will hold another showpiece in Machakos in December to act as a dry run for the global competition.

“The Machakos Rallycross was a triumph in all angles, Kenya has a great chance of being slotted in the FIA calendar next season. I can’t wait to race in the series with my team,” Team 8 captain Andrew Muiruri told Standard Sports.

Muiruri led his side to a fourth place finish in Machakos on 120 points where he battled seasoned champions like four time KNRC winner Chager and Tundo who has bagged the national series five times.

“Rallycross is the best type of motorsports racing that I have ever done. It was exciting, it was thrilling, and we shared a lot of knowledge among each other.

“I feel proud to have lined up against competent drivers like Flash and Boldy. I’m happy I gave them a run for their money. Even though they finished ahead of me, it was just but with a manageable distance,” Muiruri said.

Muiruri amassed 35 points to finish fourth in the champions category which was won by Tundo’s navigator Tim Jessop on 50 points as Tundo (45 points) and Chager (40) bagged second and third place respectively.

“From his overall performance in Machakos, Muiruri came to realise local rally participants can easily improve on their timings if they are availed of more opportunities, the way Rallycross did, to compete more with seasoned drivers.

“The two-day event provided me with a chance to learn from the best. I gained skills and experience by marking Tundo and Chager lines;  I noted the way they accelerate, the way they break, the way they take their corners among other nitty gritty parts of the game.

“I hope we have more of such events where drivers can go head to head against each other, especially against established competitors,” says Muiruri whose next rally will be the KNRC series in Nanyuki in September.

The Rallycross was also a huge blessing to budding driver Jennifer Malik who met great forces in the sport like the Safari Rally WRC3 champion Maxine Wahome and Lioness Rally runners up Tash Tundo.

“Despite being rivals on the track, Tash impacted my life with skills and lessons I will not forget.

“I believe the mentorship experience she gave me will help me to take my game to the next level,” Malik said.

Malik had stepped up her training with Delta championships and Karting series races ahead of Machakos contest.

Kay Wachira who was fourth in the junior category with 35 points.