Patel out to conquer Nakuru Rally as Aakif returns for tomorrow’s race

Rally driver Karan Patel in action during last year’s KCB Guru Nanak Rally. [KMSF]

Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) series leader Karan Patel is determined to conquer Nakuru Rally terrain as action heads to the Mogotio area tomorrow.

The event which will start and finish at the Mogotio Cultural Centre on the Equator zone will feature a total competitive mileage of 158.00km and a transport road section of 86.86km.

Karan, one of the fastest drivers in KNRC at the moment, will team up with Tauseef Khan in a Ford Fiesta Rally 2 car.

Another Rally 2 (formally R5) driver entered for the event is Aakif Virani who is making a comeback after a three-month hiatus.

Aakif is the reigning KNRC Division One champion and Kenya Motor Sports Personality of the Year. The Nairobi-based driver skipped the season opener due to personal commitments and is making his return after December’s season-closing Guru Nanak Rally which took place in Il-Bisil.

Aakif noted that his approach on comeback will be the same as last year “to remain tactical when it’s rough and aggressive where conditions allow”. He will be piloting an ex-Manvir Baryan Skoda Fanbia.

“Well, we have not sat in the car since December and our New ECU (electronic unit) was delayed at the airport, so hopefully we will get a try in the car prior to the rally. My expectations this year are the same as last year. No major expectations, as such, just to enjoy and drive each event sensibly,” said Aakif.

At the same time, KNRC Division 2 leader Steve Mwangi aka Chifu will renew his rivalry with second placed Daren Miranda.

Hussein Malik has also entered the event in Evolution 10 and will be navigated by Deep Patel. 

Karan’s sibling Kush Patel will also be taking part in an ex-Baldev Chager hatchback Subaru. 

Kush will be sitting with Muasar Chaudry. Autocross 2WD Non Turbo champion Zameer Verje will be seeking to make amends in Nakuru after his rallying debut in Kajiado ended in retirement. 

Two Wheel Drive leader Leo Varese will be navigated by Kigo Kareithi in a Sportpesa Toyota Auris. 

Issa Amwari and Jasmeet Chana are both in the Evolution 10s mix hoping for credible positions.

The rally will be organised by Rift Valley Motor & Sports Club (RVMSC) and will feature two stages (Alfega and Horne) which will be repeated twice. The service park will be centred on the Equator centre at Mogotio. 

Both routes are being graded due to changing weather conditions which affect the surface of terrain.

“We are grading both stages to ensure that the degree of roughness is reduced. Basically it’s a mix of smooth and rough but a very technical route that will be enjoyed by all and sundry,” said RVMSC chairman Harry Sagoo.

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