The fourth leg of the KCB sponsored Kenya National Rally Championship touted as an adventurous rally of the season is set for this weekend in Taita Taveta County
At least 34 drivers will tackle 194.4 km competitive distance in dozens of ‘fast and furious’ cars mainly Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions and Subaru Imprezas.
The one day competition will see Jaspreet Chatthe, the defending champion of last year’s Voi Rally fight off to retain the title, coming hot on the heels after the win in last month’s KCB Safari Rally in Elementaita.
“Judging from the growing interest that the sport has gained over the years, the sport is becoming more and more competitive. It will be a tough challenge for the competitors as they traverse the vast Taita Taveta County and we are calling upon rally fans to turn up in large numbers in Voi to cheer on their favorite drivers, ” said KCB Bank Kenya Head of Customer Experience Mr. Job Njiru during the launch of the Voi Rally which will be flagged off by Taita Taveta County Governor John Mruttu outside KCB Wundanyi branch on Saturday 23rd June at 7:00 a.m.
“As KCB, we are committed to continually support this sport with the aim of growing a pool of highly competitive drivers and navigators” said Job Njiru who will also be competing with his partner Dennis Mwenda in a Mitsubishi Evo 9.
Hundreds of spectators are also expected to gather at the ceremonial start venue to wave off competitors outside the KCB Wundanyi Branch as well as at the spectator stages at Mwatunge primary school and Rukinga Sanctuary ranch.
The rally outing presents a test of nerves that will stretch the endurance of the drivers who will be aiming for the podium finish.
The clerk of course Roy McKenzie said after the Flag off, rally cars will proceed towards the competitive sections in and around Voi, Rukinga and Maungu areas.
“We are set for the tough challenge in Voi over the weekend. The drivers will cover a long geographical distance starting from Wundanyi before finishing at Rukinga Ranch”, said McKenzie.
After flagging off the drivers will tackle a 35 km CS1 stage back to Wundanyi for another 40 km stretch covering the old Rally route. The epic race will be characterized by undulating terrains and rough roads with a combination of speed, skill and vehicle determining who will take the bragging rights in the fabulous event.
It will be interesting to see what’s up the sleeve of Chatthe. “I have been away in the UK but I expect to just drive my rally and see where I finish in Voi. We will leave nothing to chance in the tough hilly terrains of Voi”, said Chatthe.
A determined Baldev Chager will be making a comeback in Voi in a race that will see Rajbir Rai and Ian Duncan seek revenge for missing out on the last outing victory. Karan Patel will miss out on the weekend showdown as he will be out of the country.
Meanwhile, Natasha Tundo of Rallying Chixs Kenya will be navigated by Chantal Young envisioning to improve on her KNRC standings.
“We have made a few changes to our car since Voi is very tough. The secret is gaining much time from the CS 1 stages and building on that during the final stages”, said Natasha.
Tash Tundo and Tuta Mionki (who will team-up with Murage Waigwa in a Subaru GC8), are among the female competitors enlisted for Voi Rally.
Chatthe, who has clung to the KNRC summit for most of the season with stellar performances will be determined to outshine other speed merchants as the rally action gets underway from Wundanyi before the prize giving ceremony at Rukinga Ranch.