Tejveer takes Nakuru pole as star-studded entry opens 2019 KNRC

A total of 20 crews, 7 in the premier category, will start in the opening round of the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship 2019 in Nakuru on Saturday February 2.

Defending champion Carl “Flash” Tundo  will start fourth as per the rotational seeded list, with Tejveer Rai taking off first, Eric Bengi second, legend Ian Duncan third, Onkar Rai fifth and Baldev Chager sixth.

Duncan, who achieved outright victory in a World Rally Championship round when he won the 42nd Trustbank Safari Rally in 1994 in a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD, has entered a Nissan Pickup SPV with former three times Open Class Motocross Champion Anthony Nielsen being the man assigned to call his pace-notes.

Back to back Nakuru’s defending champion Onkar Rai returns to the home rally  in his elegant Skoda Fabia R5 hoping to seal a hattrick while Chager, Tundo and  Tejveer will pilot R4 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X cars which scored B13 Class points last season.

Effective 2019, Kenya Motor Sports Federation is scrapping the B13 Class which permitted crews the use of a sequential gearbox and a bigger turbo restrictor.

Eric Bengi and Tuta Mionki (the 2018 motorsports personality of the year) will be making their Premier Class debut seeded second. The Menengai Cream Boyz/Galz duo who ran a Subaru N12 last season believe it will take a few rallies to come to grips with their newly acquired ex-Farhaaz Khan Mitsubishi Evolution X.

KNRC Division 1 has attracted 7 drivers led by Karan Patel who has been relegated from Premier Class. Karan who is making a comeback since rolling his Group N Evolution X on the ARC Rally of Tanzania is resorting to his championship winning as his mechanics race against time to fix the Evolution X damage.

Karan won the 2014 KNRC Division 3 and Group S championships in the GC8 and has fond memories for the ex-Baldev Chager GC8.

CRS Racing Team of the Chana siblings (Jasmeet and Ravi) will also be making their first appearance in the Premier Class. The Chanas will run their traditional Mitsubishi Evolution X in Identisys Ltd livery.

Also in the mix are Mombasa Motor Club stable-mates Sohanjeet Singh Puee (Team Nanak) and Ammar “Bushy” Haq (Team Yalfa) who have both moved  a class up to Division One. Sohan beat Ammar to the KNRC Division Two title last season.

A fabulous fight is in prospect in Division Two category, which has attracted 3 entries and a mix of cars comprising two Group N contraptions to be driven by Issa Amwari (Evolution X) and Edward Maina (Subaru Impreza) with Minesh Rathod back at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Evolution X R4.

Geoff Mayes and Albert Kigen are the two entrants enlisted in Division Three.

The rally, organized by Rift Valley Motor & Sports Club (RVMSC), gets underway from KCB Mogotio Branch on Saturday February 2 and culminates at the RVMSC Clubhouse in Solai.

KCB Bank Kenya has committed Kshs.75 million towards motorsports for the next three years, making a comeback as title sponsors of the 8-leg KNRC.

Every year, KCB has set aside Kshs. 20 million for the staging of KNRC events and Kshs.5 million for Autocross;

The 2019 KCB Autocross Championship schedule revved off last weekend at Mai Mahiu’s TGRV racetrack followed by KCB Nakuru Rally to be held in Nakuru and Baringo counties. Reconnaissance and scrutineering will take place on Friday.