Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) speedster Andrew Muiruri is the winner of the 4WD Turbo Car class category at the sixth leg of the Kenya National Autocross Championship held in Nairobi at the weekend.
Muiruri clocked 16:03.30 to emerge champion in the contest staged at the dusty Kasarani Super Special Stage.
The Betika sponsored speed ace recorded 4:03.37 in the practice session, 4:09.64 in Heat One, 3:57.07 in Heat Two, 3:56.91 in Heat Three and 3:59.68 in Heat Four on his way to the trophy.
At the same time, his student, Jennifer Malik timed 17:02.26 to emerge second in the category as Gideon Kimani bagged third place in 17:09.33.
During the contest, Muiruri shared his Subaru Imprezza STI N12 car with Malik who was making her second appearance in autocross.
"It feels good to win, especially in my first attempt at autocross," Muiruri told Standard Sports.
The multi podium Time Trials finisher attributed his autocross victory on his recent good run at the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally in Naivasha where, for the first time in his third attempt, he crossed the finish line.
In the 2021 Safari Rally, Muiruri rolled while last year he suffered mechanic gremlins forcing him to register a Did Not Finish.
"Machakos Rally Cross and the Safari Rally sharpened me, they gave me an edge over other opponents in the autocross championships," the double Champagne Park 4x4 champion underlined.
"The tactics nailed in the events helped me to gain control over the vehicle on the tough Kasarani gravel," he stated.
While savoring the sweet victory, Muiruri said he did not have any elaborate preparations ahead of the autocross championship, stating that he made the decision to take part in the competition on Friday.
Interestingly, Muiruri did not panel beat the car to shape when he proceeded for the Kasarani contest.
The vehicle still had the dust and dents from the gruelling Safari Rally showpice in Naivasha.
"It really feels good to win.
"This victory has inspired me, I now look forward to compete in the remaining legs of the series," he stated.
Despite missing the first five legs of the series, Muiruri believes he can still lift the autocross series with proper funding and planning.
He said he cannot wait to take part in the seventh leg slated for Nanyuki on August 12-13 and other subsequent contests in Nairobi on September 16-17, October 14-15 and November 11-12.
The first five legs were hosted by the Sikh Union Club (January 28-29), Rift Valley Motor Sport Club (February 25-26), Rallye Sports Club (April 1-2), Mombasa Motor Club (April 29-30) and Machakos (May 27-28).
"Hopefully, my sponsors will give me support to compete in the remaining legs because the series is quite expensive," he stated.
Muiruri also looks forward to try his luck in the fourth edition of Rally Cross to be held in Machakos in August and the remaining legs of the KNRC series.
He was third in the first Rally Cross edition, was runners up in the second while the third edition did not go well as he never made it to the finish line.
"The Rally Cross helped me to prepare well for the Safari Rally, from the seat time I was able to understand how to navigate the challenging Naivasha terrains," he stated.
The KNRC series this season has so far been held in Machakos, Voi, Nakuru and Naivasha.
Kenya National Autocross Championship sixth leg winners
-4WD Turbo Class- Andrew Muiruri
-2WD NT Buggy Class- Neel Gohil
-2WD NT Buggy Class (Junior)- Yuvraj Rajput
-2WD NT Class-Neel Gohil
-2WD Turbo Buggy Class-Qahir Rahim
-4WD Non-Turbo Class- Jose Sardinha
-Bambino Class-Gitau Munene
-Open Class-Rajveer Thethi