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SPORTS

Maiden victory: Mwangi wins RSC Formula Club Series as KCB Home Loan Kiambu Rally action beckons

SPORTS By By OSCAR PILIPILI | March 31st 2014

By OSCAR PILIPILI

 

Stephen Mwangi, co-driven by Stephen Nyorri navigated their Subaru Impreza N10 through three twisty and demanding sections at Migaa, Gatatha and Cianda farms to win the Rallye Sports Club Formula Club Series rally yesterday.

Mwangi posted a cumulative time of 1 hour 25 minutes and 5 seconds ahead of second placed reigning Division Two champion Jaspreet Chatthe who had flown in four time Africa Rally Champion Navigator David Sihoka from Zambia in an ex-Lee Rose Mitsubishi EVO9.

Chatthe was using the training rally in an ex-Lee Rose Mitsubushi Evo 8 as part of his preparations for a full assault of the Africa Rally Championship.

Chatthe and Sihoka would have won the rally had they not incurred a 2 minute 50 second penalty for dragging on a road section.

Early pace setter Asad ‘Kalulu’ Khan and Nehreen Ismail were destined for victory until they long slotted at the 8 km Migaa spectator stage to drop to fourth. Rashid Kabi came in fifth in a Subaru N11.

Asad won the first two stages but lost six minutes in the Migaa stage where they were wrong slotted but were back in the groove to catch up with the leading pack.

“We broke two rear shafts and were compelled to run on only the front wheel which slowed us down,” said Asad.

IT FEELS GOOD

Mwangi said: “It feels good to win a rally for the first time in my racing career. The rally route was technical and tricky; so the first loop we backed off.  In the second loop we gained more confidence but overshot a corner and damaged the bumper,” Mwangi said.

 Taiti Wachira, navigated by Kioni Mwangi in an ex-Ben Muchemi EVO6, drove their Special Purpose Vehicle classified Mitsubishi Evo 6 to third place in 1 hour 28 minutes 13 seconds.

Chatthe and Sihoka will be running in the Sasol Rally of South Africa in two weeks time and were doing yesterday’s rally as a bonding gesture in the run up to the forthcoming ARC events.

Prior to the clock woes, Chatthe crawled in the first stage after experiencing early morning gear problems with his car. Out of 20 drivers who started the event, only 10 managed the demanding course.

Sammy Nyorri, navigated by Ida Tallam in a Toyota Vitz, retired on CS3 with a broken drive-shaft.

Rally Raid quad rider Waigwa Murage made his rally debut in a Subaru hatchback but was time barred with serious overheating problems on CS1 held at Gitatha Farm.

Caroline Gatimu went out in CS3. Other casualties were newcomers Alex Lairangi (CS1), Nishal Shah (CS1) and Eric Njogu (CS1).

gear problem

Chatthe had to make do with only gear one and three when the gear cable dislodged itself and cost him a lot of time. After the gear problem, Chatthe’s pace was slow.

Anish Chouhan was left to rue a bad start in the early morning run but savoured every bit of the action when his woes were sorted.

“It was a very bad start 14 kilometres into the Gatatha stage where the car slipped and got stuck in the coffee plantation. It took us 30 minutes to get off the mess so we improved on times as the rally wore on. Later on, the intercom failed in the first loop and we had to borrow one in the second loop,” said Chouhan.

Dennis Mwenda described the first stage at Gatatha as tricky, narrow and quite deceiving.

 Sihoka, who is the reigning African navigator champion, said he feels so honoured to do a local event in Kenya, having tackled the Safari Rally severally .

 Sihoka won the African championship four times in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2013.

Meanwhile, Rallye Sports Club (RSC) have declared themselves ready for the KCB Home Loan Kiambu Rally 2014 set to run entirely on private roads around Kiambu County and its environs on the weekend of April 26 and 27.

RSC Chairman and Event Director Phineas Kimathi said there is a deliberate plan to make the KNRC Three event enticing in that it will be a sharp contrast to the usual events held on the hustle and bustle of public roads ostensibly for safety reasons.  —[email protected]

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