Karan Raring To Go To Equator Rally

Ugandan Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba throw dust in their Ford Fiesta Rally 3 at the Shakedown stage of the Equator Rally yesterday, they finished fourth after practice and qualifying rounds. Pix:  Lawrence Kiende, WRC Safari Rally. PHOTO/COURTESY

VOI, Kenya- Karan Patel started his Africa Rally Championship title chase on a high note after finishing first in the practice and qualifying rounds in the 5.8km shakedown stage at Teita Estate in Mwatate near Voi yesterday driving a Ford Fiesta Rally 2 with the best time of 3 minutes 47.11 seconds.

The FIA Rally Star program student   Hamza Anwar showed promise and displayed a highly skilled drive in a Ford Fiesta R3 was second 11 seconds behind, followed by teammate Jeremiah Wahome in third (4:01.7).

The biggest star of the day was Anwar’s father, veteran old Safari Rally ace Assad Anwar who surprisingly clocked fifth in an old, outdated Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 10,

 Aakif Virani damaged his Skoda Fabia extensively after ramming into a tree. Mechanics were working around the clock to repair the car in readiness for the start of the first leg this morning.

Patel, navigated by Tauseef Khan said: “The competition is here, but maybe I will not be forced to dig in my reserves for energy. So I will just have a comfortable ride and do my best,” said Patel.

Anwar’s teammates and winners in Machakos Rally Jeremiah Wahome and Victor Okundi last month were third 14 seconds behind Patel with Ugandan ace Yasin Nasser, navigated by Ali Katumba completing the Ford Fiestas line-up at the top in fourth 19.1 sec behind the leadership board.

The two-day rally will be held on the outskirts of Voi where most of the competitive stages will be based around the Taita Estate.

The total transport distance will be 421.08 km while the Competitive distance will be 205.25km.

Leg one transport will be 143.88km, while Competitive will be 159.66km. The Leg Two Transport distance will be 71.95km while the Competitive distance will be 45.59 km.

Organizers have designed a competitive two-leg route with 10 competitive stages.

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