Bengi, Issa lead home assault on KCB Meru Rally

Outgoing Kenya National Division One Champion Eric Bengi will lead home drivers in the KCB Meru Rally slated for November 9.

He will team up with last year’s Motor Personality of the Year Tuta Mionki incidentally on the latter’s 50th KNRC appearance.

Like Bengi, Tuta will savor a drive on home soil and indeed bigger expectations once Meru dust has finally settled.

“This will be my 50th KNRC start and there is no better place to celebrate this golden anniversary. We would love to have a great performance at home.

“I have competed there once when Meru was part of the 2015 ARC Safari Rally. We did quite well and I am hopeful for yet another great performance.

“The fans in Meru are very amazing and I remember them getting excited to see one of their daughters in a rally car. It’s no secret that I am looking forward to going back home,” Tuta said.

KNRC Division 2 leader Issa Amwari is also looking forward to a great homecoming after dominating his class this season in his Evo10 machine.

The last time he rallied there was in 2010. He returns to the Rallye Sports Club (RSC) round with co-driver Job Njiru.

“This time we are going back home in a better machine (Evo10) and indeed immense experience. We are also going there as KNRC Division Two leaders, so this will definitely add up to our pressure to deliver before home fans. Bengi and I will truly cherish the experience to drive on home soil. We want to assure Bengi he’s got a wing-man, so he can so attack the front-runners.”

Ken Nteree of Nanyuki Rally Team will also be at it as he returns on home turf. He said: “I have never rallied in Meru before. But as a son of the soil, it’s a great feeling going to rally at home. For now, we may not be certain, as our car is undergoing an overhaul. We hope all goes well.”

Meanwhile, Mombasa based Division One driver Ammar “Bushy” Haq is looking forward to his debut in Meru. Haq currently leads Group N in his Evolution 10. He will be navigated by Victor Okundi also from Mombasa.

“I have heard a lot about Meru but one thing I have experienced firsthand is their stunt drivers who ferry a ‘precious cash crop’ to Nairobi at the speed of sound!

“It’s a whole new experience for me, and I can’t wait to rally there! As a team we are ready for the event. The car was ready and tested for Guru Nanak so we just took it back to Mombasa after the postponement. The plan is to keep it as tidy as possible to keep the lead in Group N as we are a distant 2nd in Division 1,” Ammar said.

Meru Rally will be flagged at the KCB Nkubu Branch on November 9. Scrutineering and reconnaissance will take place at the Heritage Hotel a day prior.

The spectator stage, rally headquarters, service ParK and prize giving will be centered on ASK Meru Showground.

The event which will count towards the seventh and penultimate round of the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship has attracted leading drivers including KNRC Champion Carl “Flash” Tundo, series leader Baldev Singh Chager, reigning three times African Champion Manvir Baryan and Onkar Singh Rai of Nakuru.