Voice of Sport

Machakos welcomes return of national championship rallying on Sunday

The rally will be flagged off by County Governor Alfred Mutua, 7am outside the town’s branch on KCB

THE Machakos Rally, second in the series of the Kenya Commercial Bank Kenya National Rally Championship takes place on Sunday.

It is a sprint event expecting cut-throat battles especially in a “power stage” designed to provide speed thrills to spectators. The nine kilometre stage runs from Wote to the flying finish at Konza.

The rally will have six sections, three to be repeated. The service park will be at Tumaini Secondary School along Ulu Road and will be visited four times on the race-day.

To keep off spectator vehicle traffic on the route, organisers have introduced a restriction; not to allowing them to drive into the sections. Instead, they are encouraged to adopt the “park and walk” method; can leave cars at designated points and proceed on foot to the competitive stage so as not to interfere with the competitors’ cars.

Media briefing Tuesday

The sponsors, KCB and organisers, Kenya Motor Sports Club [KMSC] and the Kenya Motor Foundation [KMSF] will hold a media briefing on Tuesday, 11am at the KCB’s Kencom House, mezzanine floor.

Scrutineering will be on Saturday, 6.00 am to 5.00pm at the Kenya Motor Sports Club’s South “C” club house. After which cars will proceed to the nearby Boma Hotel for the overnight “Perc Ferme”.

On Sunday, cars will leave Boma Hotel at 6.00am and in a convoy head through the highway “transport section” section to Machakos Town. It is obvious the motorcade spectacle will instill zest amongst the onlookers.

In Machakos Town, the rally will be flagged off at 7am by Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua outside the town’s branch on KCB.

Ceremony at ball room

The ceremonial finish will be back in South “C” at the Boma Hotel where podium finishers will go under the event’s arch for the traditional champagne celebrations ahead of the prize-giving ceremony programmed for the hotel’s ball room from7.30 pm onwards.

As the rally day draws closer, there is excitement amongst spectators, competitors and officials about the competition heading to Machakos County an area that last hosted a KNRC event eight years ago — in 2006.

Having already tasted the rigors of racing under extreme dry heat at the season-opener KCB Malindi Rally, competitors will find that cockpit temperatures will comparatively be lower in Machakos, reducing cases of dehydration amongst crews as was witnessed at the Coast.

Tackling smooth and short stages will no doubt also give them a scintillating change of scenario, away from the largely normal routine of taking on Athi River and Kajiado sections.

To Mathatani

Machakos last host a KCB KNRC event, the 27th Guru Nanak Rally on November 18, 2006. The Rally was flagged-off outside KCB Machakos branch from where cars tackled a stage running from Kenya Orchards Limited, all the way to Mathatani.

Thereafter, they embarked on a 60km transport road section back to the day’s last service and onwards to the overnight ‘perc ferme’ at Simba Union in Nairobi. The event then restarted from Simba Union the following day to tackle stages around Athi River plains.

Ian Duncan and Amaar Slatch, in a Toyota Hilux pick-up, won the event that year.

Past winners of the Kenya Motor Sports Club round of the KNRC.

2009: Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop

2010: Alastair Cavenagh/Gavin Laurence (EVO9) – KCB S&L Mortgages Rally-Kajiado

2011: Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (EVO9) – KCB Bankika Rally- Athi River