Voice of Sport

Malik: hoping to fly sponsors’ colours high at Sunday’s Guru Nanak Rally

The 35th edition of this Kenyan National Rally Championship event has attracted no less than five foreign drivers and navigators


WHEN National Oil Corporation of Kenya announced a Sh14 million annual sponsorship of the Kenya national women’s volleyball team, the company said their interests also spread to motorsport and football under the theme of supporting the community in order to “Win with Sports”.

Sumayya Athmani, NOC’s chief executive officer said: “We are also supporting the rally driver, Hussein Malik in the Kenya National Rally Championship [KNRC] and the Kibra FC, a youth team in Nairobi.”

Quests

Hussein Malik was among scores of people who congratulated the national women’s team on its NOC sponsorship and also wished them well in the forthcoming quests for victory and qualification in the Africa Championships, 2015 All Africa Games and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Malik himself would then have been looking ahead to the next round of the KNRC — the Guru Nanak Rally — which takes place on Sunday.

Do justice

Although a back-marker in the large entry of 50 cars, Malik accompanied by his navigator George Mwangi, will be one of the interesting features in the race.

His Mitsubishi EVO6 in National Oil colours will be one of those seeking to do justice to sponsorship and backing from many friends.

Retiring

Meanwhile Jas Mangat, a former Uganda rally champion, navigated by compatriot Gihan De Silva in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX is among five foreigners entered for the 35th Guru Nanak Rally.

Mangat is returning to the Kenya National Rally championship after retiring in September’s KCB Safari Rally in Nanyuki.

A total of 50 drivers are expected in the Simba Union Club-organised event first held in 1973 and won by the late Vic Preston Senior and Bill Parkinson in a Mercedes Benz 250.

Contender

Other foreigners are Hardev Singh Sira from Britain in a Ford Escort Mexico. Sira is no stranger to Kenya having previously lived in Eldoret and graced the 2013 KNRC Classic class as a leading contender. He will be navigated by Gurdeep “Dipps” Singh Mehangra.

Drew Sturrock from Britain will be navigating Kenya’s Manvir Baryan. Baryan has entered a Subaru Impreza GVB 13.

Series

Zimbabwean navigator Gareth Dawe is in town ready to navigate Onkar Singh Rai of Kenya. Dawe finished second overall in the 2014 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) behind Romain Comas of Cote d’Ivoire.

The Zim navigated Zambia’s Essa Mohammed in the continental series which folded its curtains in Madagascar recently. Dawe is replacing Des Page Morris who is unable to make for the season closing rally due to pressing job commitments.

Unprecedented

Ian Duncan who has tackled selected events in his Mitsubishi EVO9 is entering a Nissan Patrol and will be going for an unprecedented 12th win in the Guru Nanak Rally. Duncan first won the Guru Nanak in 1986 with his namesake Ian Munro in an Opel Manta 400 and repeated the feat in 1987, 88, 89.

Focus in Naivasha will however be on who takes home championship titles most of which have gone down to the wire. Carl “Flash” Tundo and Baldev Chager go head to head for the main KNRC title which is a two horse race.

Podium

Chager needs a podium finish to retain the KNRC title-that is if Tundo wins. Leonardo Varese is going for his third career title in 2WD and has said he will back off as he requires a solitary point, that is if Dennis Mwenda wins.

The KNRC Division Two class pits leader Alasdair Keith up against Mahesh Halai. Tejveer Rai ranked third has an outside chance in the division 2 championship tussle. Karan Patel will be attempting a rare double in his first year of competition. He plans to win both the Division 3 and S Class categories.

Strong finish

Twenty-year old Zane Young will be making his national rallying debut when he joins former co-driver turned driver Geoff Mayes in a “Hands off our Elephants” Toyota Levin. Young, the youngest ever podium finisher aboard a quad-bike in rally raids, will be targeting a strong finish in the Naivasha-based rally.

Guru Nanak Rally is the final round of the 2014 KCB Kenya National Rally Championship and takes place around Naivasha. A total of eight stages make up the 347 kilometre route. The ceremonial start and podium finish will take place at the new Buffalo Mall in Naivasha on Sunday, November 23.

35TH GURU NANAK RALLY:

Entries:

Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (EVOX)

Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Proton Neo Satria S2000)

Rajbir Rai/Timothy Challen (EVOX)

Jaspreet S. Chatthe/Dave Sihoka (EVOX)

–  Alastair Cavenagh/Gavin Laurence (Proton Neo Satria S2000)

Azar Anwar/Julius Ngigi (EVO8)

Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Subaru Impreza GVB 13)

Onkar Singh Rai/Gareth Dawe (EVOX)

Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (EVO9)

Farhaaz Khan/Salim Khan (Subaru N10)

Khalfan Athman/Abdulaziz Athman (EVO9)

Steve Mwangi/Steven Nyorri (Subaru Impreza)

Jas Mangat/Gihan de Silva (EVOX)

Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (EVOX)

Raaji Singh Bharij/Jasneil Ghataure (EVO9)

Devan Bhudia/Raju Sehmi (Subaru N10)

Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Subaru N12B)

Ronak Shah/Riyaz Ismail (Subaru N12B)

Imran Mogul/Adnan Din (Subaru N10)

Alasdair Keith/Tariq Maliq (Subaru GC8)

Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan (Subaru GC8)

Murage Waigwa/Tuta Mionki (Subaru)

Imran Khan/Arshad Khan (Subaru GC8)

Edward Maina/John Ngugi (Subaru N10)

Hussein Malik/George Mwangi (EVO6)

Dennis Mwenda/Edward Njoroge (Toyota Sprinter GT)

Hardev Sira/Gurdeep Mehangra (Ford Escort Mexico)

Aslam Khan/Keith Henrie (Porsche Carrera 911)

–  Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle (Ford Escort MK2)

–  Ranjeet Sehmi/Jansher Sandhu (Ford Escort)

–  Rob Hellier/Mike Huth (Datsun 160J)

Rommy Bhamra/H. Jutley (Datsun 240Z)

Eric Bengi/Tony Gikuhi (Toyota RunX)

Gurmit Thethy/DP Kalsi (VW Golf MK3)

Rashid Kabi/Allan Muhindi (Subaru)

Chandrakhant Devji Chabhadia/Jonathan Kosgey (Subaru GC8)

Alykhan Malik/Steve Njenga (Subaru Legacy)

Sammy Nyorri/Ida Tallam (Toyota Vitz)

Rashminda Bhabra/ Pavit Kenth (Nissan Patrol)

Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Nissan Patrol)

Sabri Hachim (Range Rover Ebowler)

– Mikey Hughes/Ruffel Hughes (Range Rover)

–  Nikhil Sachania/Charanjeev Singh (Mitsubishi Challenger)

–  Charan Thethy/TBA (Daewoo Cielo)

–  Leo Varese/Kigondu Kareithi (Toyota Corolla RSI)

–  Alex Lairangi/Tony Gichohi (VW Golf MKII)

–  Nishal Shah/ Avhit Bij (VW Golf MKII)

–  Nadeem Kana/James Mwangi Harrison (Subaru)

–   Savraj Bhui/Kui Mungai (VW Golf GTI)

–  Geoff Mayes/Zane Young (Toyota Levin)