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By ABDUL SIDI
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The party is over for 2018 Kenya Motorsports Personality of the Year, Tuta Mionki, whose team is among an impressive entry for the season-opening KCB Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) round in Nakuru on Saturday.

The KCB Nakuru Rally revs off at 7am from the Kenya Commercial Bank’s Mogotio branch, signalling the launch of the renewed Kenya Commercial Bank sponsorship for motorsport.

Mionki and her driver Eric Bengi, in a Mitsubishi Evolution X, have been honoured by a second-place start behind Tejveer Rai and Zahir Shah in similar car with Ian Duncan/Anthony Nielsen (Nissan Pickup), Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Mitsubishi Evolution X) and Onkar Rai/Gavin Laurence (Skoda Fabia) following off the ramp.

The opening round of the 2019 KCB KNRC has attracted 20 entries, notably the majority of the recent award winners for the 2018 season.

Karan Patel, who is seeded number eight, returns to action after an accident in the Tanzania Rally, which had put to rest his rallying ambitions for a short time.

Patel, who had won the Arusha Rally prior to his accident driving a Ford Fiesta R2T in another round of the Tanzania Rally Championship, is reputed to be one of the quickest drivers in the KNRC.

While he is waiting for the Ford to be repaired properly, he will drive a Subaru Impreza GC8 recce car with James Mwangi for this weekend’s round.

”This being my first rally, it will give me an opportunity to get back into the driver’s seat of a rally car once again,” he said.

“We are not just looking for a good performance, but rather a good day out for the whole team to get a taste of the sport once again. Also good opportunity for James and I to get back to working as a team and having a good flow in the car.

“We are simply aiming for a fun day out with our recce car acting as the rally car for a change,” said Karan.

The young driver, who finished third in the 2018 Fly540 RSC Rally, has already tasted rallying in other foreign countries like in Portugal, Poland, Germany, Finland and Spain respectively. Division One and Group ‘N’ titles holders Sohanjeet Singh Puee and Adnan Din, who also won Division Two and Group S are in the starting list.

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The recent KCB sponsorship deal has lifted off some of the burdens on the Clubs and competitors.

The Nakuru Rally will open up with the Mogotio Top stage (26.46kms) at 7.18am before tackling the Sprint Stage (6.16kms) at 8.31am, Franks Landing (18.20am) at 8.46, Ankole Start (30.74kms) at 9.34am. The cars will the visit the Service Park at the end of the loop before returning to the same stages for the second time round. First car will back at the finish as from 3.30pm.

1. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

2. Eric Bengi/Tuta Mionki (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

3. Ian Duncan/Anthony Nielsen (Nissan Pickup)

4. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

5. Onkar Rai/Gavin Laurence (Skoda Fabia)

6. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

7. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

8. Ammar Haq/Victor Okundi (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

9. Karan Patel/James Mwangi (Subaru Impreza)

10. Sohanjeet Puee/Adnan Din (Subaru Impreza)

11. Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Subaru Impreza)

12. John Ng’ang’a/George Njoroge (Subaru Impreza)

13. Minesh Rathod/Shameer Yusuf (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

14. Rajay Sehmi/Tej Sehmi (Porsche 911)

15. Paras Pandya/Falgun Bhojak (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

16. Issa Amwari/Job Njiru (Mitsubishi Evolution X)

17. Edward Maina/Edward Njoroge (Subaru Impreza)

18. Daren Miranda/Wayne Fernandes (Toyota Sprinter)

19. Geoff Mayes/Suzanne Zwager (Land Rover)

20. Albert Kigen/Tony Gichohi (VW Golf)



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