S2000 assault to spice up Voi Rally

 The fourth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) will feature four S2000 high rated cars for the first time in domestic rallying history when the rumble gets underway on Saturday in Voi.
Tapio Laukkanen
Tapio Laukkanen

Two-time former KNRC champion Alastair Cavenagh and his navigator Gavin Laurence will be reverting to their Proton Neo Satria S2000, hoping to register a finish in seven rallies.

Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo in a Proton, Quentin Mitchell’s left-hand drive Skoda Fabia and Nikhil Sachania’s custom-made hand-controlled Fiat Abarth Grande Punto are others who will be driving in S2000s.

Physical challenged, Nikhil, the 2014 SOYA Special Award and the 2014 Motor Sports Personality of the Year winner, upgraded from a Group S Mitsubishi Challenger to the Fiat.

Cavenagh who didn’t finish a single rally last season, was upbeat he will lead his Proton to a podium result after rebuilding the gear box while resting his Porsche that he wants to enter at the East Africa Safari Classic Rally.

“The Protons have been unreliable and disappointing since we acquired them last year. I had hoped with a new engine, the problems of reliability would have been resolved but this has not been the case.

“I have no option but to stick with the car for this year and try to make it reliable. The gearbox has been rebuilt and it is high time that the car prove critics wrong. The Porsche is currently being stripped and rebuilt and I will do one more rally in it in preparation for the East Africa Safari Classic,” Cavenagh said.

S2000 rally cars are normally-aspirated machines and are commonly run in the South Africa Rally Championship.

Among top drivers enlisted for Voi include former Finland champion and Kisumu winner, Tapio Laukkanen, KNRC and Africa Rally Championship leader Jassi Singh Chatthe, Rajbir Rai, Raaji Bharij, Kajiado winner Ian Duncan and defending champion Baldev Chager who is yet to win this season.

Drivers will cover a competitive distance of 276.1Km in closed sections in and around Voi, Rukinga, Maungu Simba, Ndovu and Twiga areas in addition to Voi Stadium which will be one of the spectator stages.

“There will be two spectator stages in addition to that in Rukinga Ranch, one towards the end of 18km at Twiga stage which is accessible from Maungu. For safety and control of routes, spectators will be required to park their cars in designated areas,” Deputy Clerk of Course, Azar Anwar announced.

KNRC fuel sponsors Shell have donated a cash prize of Sh40, 000 for category stage winners of the Simba section and an additional similar amount towards rally officials’ fuel kitty.

Every driver who sets the fastest overall stage time on the Simba Stage in the KNRC Premier/Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and Two Wheel Drive will get a cash award of Sh10,000.