Manvir wins KCB Kilifi Rally as Chager holds onto KNRC lead
Manvir Baryan navigated by Drew Sturrock in a Skoda Fabia R5 led from start to finish to win his second career KCB Kilifi Rally.
The reigning African champion swept the ground with all his opponents to savour his first win of the 2019 KCB Kenya National Rally Championship season after missing out on this round last year.
Manvir who won the 2017 edition of the Mombasa Motor Club at the same venue won five out of seven stages with Chager winning CS3 and CS6. After winning the 21km night stage at Mombasa Cement in Vipingo on Friday, Baryan drove like a man possessed in an event of high attrition level.
Out of the 24 starters, only 13 survived the demanding course.
Coast Pelee’s Izhar Mirza celebrated his career-best KNRC position after completing the podium dash. Another homeboy Ammar Haq came in fifth behind Tejveer Rai while Paras Pandya of Mombasa came sixth.
Onkar Rai who was second fastest in the night stage was an early casualty on Day Two after his new VW Polo ran out of fuel in CS2 MCL stage.
Manvir”s British co-driver was all smiles after victory.
“It’s quite a good feeling winning our first event of the 2019 KNRC season. The stages were rushing in nice and we were very fast on the 21km section. We also spun on the last run of the 21KM and lost a few seconds but still won the stage. We now want to achieve a big dream in the KNRC,” said Manvir’s navigator Sturrock.
Chager still leads the KNRC series despite finishing second.
“It was a very tough rally but very enjoyable stages. The traffic was well controlled. We tried to push and keep up with the Skoda so we beat Manvir on CS3 and he beat us again on CS4 with three seconds. In the long 46km stage at Bamba we were pushing extra hard then went off and got stuck for several minutes. Two weeks we are headed for Nanyuki Rally so the boys have a lot of work to do,” Chager said.
Geoff Mayes retired at the start of SS 2 with engine problems Adil Mirza also retired in stage 2.
Others casualties were Raaji Bharij with gearbox problems and Naushad Kara with a broken ball joint.
Speaking during the prize-giving ceremony, KCB Bank Kenya Regional Manager Coast Region Ms. Jane Isiaho lauded the Mombasa Motor Club (MMC) for delivering a splendid outing while reaffirming the Bank’s commitment to motorsports development in the country.
“KCB Bank is proud to be associated with the national rally championship, for 18 years the bank has been associated with motorsports in Kenya,” Isiaho said.