SPLASH OF VICTORY: Hard-charging Duncan wins KCB Kajiado Rally



Ian Duncan navigated by Kavit Dave powers his Mitsubishi Evo 10 at the Blue Steel Mill section during the KCB-KMSC rally in Kajiado, on May 3, 2015.

Ian Duncan, navigated by Kavit Dave in a Liquid Telecom Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10, emerged the winner in the third round of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) at Athi River Quarry, yesterday.

But Duncan had his campaign effectively sewn-up when Raaji Bharij was involved in a mishap on CS7 and had to bow out of the Kenya Motor Sports Club organised rally after brilliant displays.

Delights rally team’s Bharij bowed out of the rally when his car hit a small tree but the damage to windscreen would not allow him to stay on for safety reasons, according to Toshi Saito of Delights Motors. This was Bharij’s second incident with a tree following a similar accident in the Safari Rally Rajbir Rai, in a Ford Fiesta R5 navigated by Tim Challen, finished second overall followed by Jassi Chatthe in third place.

But Duncan and Rajbir had to contend with playing second fiddle to Chatthe who maintained his lead on the KNRC log. After three rounds of brilliant displays, Chatthe leads the KNRC standings with 76.5 points ahead of Duncan on 56.5points. Rajbir moved from position nine to third with 39 points on the KNRC standings.

Eric Bengi won 2WD after finishing eighth overall while Murage Wa Waigwa claimed the KNRC S Class honours after finishing ninth overall.  Podium finishers Duncan, Rajbir and Chatthe were gifted by withdrawals of top drivers including Alastair Cavenagh, the Tundos -Tash, Frank and Carl, Jonathan Somen, Baldev Chager and the Rais-Tejveer and Onkar after Friday’s reconnaissance citing impassable muddy roads.

Organisers Kenya Motor Sports Club (KMSC) resorted to alternative newer routes and extended the event’s programme by a day. Yesterday, the leader-board exchanged hands thrice, but only just in the initial stages. Rajbir Rai opened a 15 seconds lead after CS1 Isinya stage but this was short-lived when Duncan took over the lead on CS2 and clung onto to it through to CS3.

Raaji Bharij was ahead of the pack in the next two stages on CS4 and CS5 before Duncan bounced back on CS6 to recapture lead through to the very end. With heavy rains anticipated to pound the route course, crews  tackled Kajiado Rally under sunny conditions.

Fans who turned out in large numbers at the Quarry stage- which was the designated public viewing point- were treated to some exhilarating displays. Duncan said: “All went well. My new navigator Kavit was also good.

Thanks to Liquid Telecoms for the big support.” Rajbir told FeverPitch: “I have made a big step forward and and hope to now handle the car even better. I am happy with the second place.”  “We are happy to finish third. The pace was not that quick for me being first car on the road. We encountered many animals on the road. That did not help us but third is good enough as it helps maintain the overall lead of the KNRC. I’m now preparing for the next rally in Zambia on May 16,” said Chattthe who still leads both the African Rally Championship and KNRC.

Japanese and former Safari legend Kenjiro Shinozuka, who opened the rally route said:”I really enjoyed the rally and I’m looking forward to returning for the Safari Rally,” said Kenjiro. Among the casualties were Karan Patel who retired on the transport road section after CS1, Thaiti Wachira who could not reach the start after a minor accident on Mombasa Road, Daren Miranda, Charan Thethy Farhaaz Khan and Evans Kamau.