Former Coast champion Lota looking to conquer home rally's night stage

Naushad Kara Lota appears to defy gravity in his Subaru machine during a past event. He is back to compete in his home rally at the Coast on September 9, 2023. [Courtesy]

Multiple former Coast champion Naushad Kara Lota believes the curtain-raising night stages in his home Mombasa Rally has “no room for error”.

Lota also thinks the night stages will bring a whole new experience and challenge that will make the event fun to drive.

Night stages will feature for the first time at sea level in Mombasa's KNRC round  since 2019 and the ultra-fast gravel event, celebrating its many years in the national series, will feature two stages in darkness on Saturday prior to rally proper on Sunday.

Crews will also end Saturday’s leg with a night time experience of hair-raising thrills.

The KNRC field including McRae Kimathi and leader Jasmeet Chana have already labelled Saturday’s night stages as the most exciting of the entire event.

Lota's longstanding navigator Adnan Din believes the night stages will no doubt present Nairobi crews a different challenge to overcome with darkness adding the much needed zest.

“Doing the stages in darkness is going to be a whole new element,” said Lota whose SPV Subaru  Crossbreed will score points towards the SPV (Specially Prepared Category).

“We are used to doing night rallies in our clubman rallies but KNRC Mombasa rally this year will be a whole different challenge with new track adversaries.

“When you are shining the lights into open space it is incredibly tricky. In the Vipingo sections it is easier as we always compete there. The only difference will be our Nairobi opponents," he said.

Mr Subaru as Lota is called in rally circles  has also conducted a night stage test with his hybrid contraption and he sounded quite febrile.

“Driving in the dark is such a good feeling, it is quite a bit difference even if you know the stage,” he said.

“I think in a technical rally like this with a lot of obstacles and fast corners it is not so easy to trust the notes in the dark because you cannot see everything even though we have really good lights on the car.

“I think it will be a really great feeling racing in the darkness and there is no room for mistakes.”

Lota said that the club night rally experience has provided at least an idea of what to expect at the weekend.

“We know what the stages can look like in the dark and they are probably some of the most spectacular and hairy stages in the series, so the pacenotes are going to be vitally important, and of course listening to the pacenotes that is going to be a challenge for sure,” he said.

Rugby
Focus turns to Kenya Cup relegation dogfight
Athletics
Tokyo Marathon: Kipchoge faces biggest test
Sports
Kenya's race against time in readiness for 2027 Afcon
Football
Gor, Rangers battle in top-of-the-table clash