The hills around Muranga, Makuyu and Ndakaini will reverberate with the roar of turbo charged machines when Aberdare Raia Rally takes roars into life on the weekend of September 9 and 10.
Organisers Rallysport Kenya in conjunction with Raia Autosport have promised the over 20 drivers enlisted an exhilarating “Man and Machine” test in an event which awaits some hair raising thrills on varied high altitude gravel terrain.
With more entries expected to flow in from around the country, the first prominent names to confirm their place in the growing list of competitors are Kenya National Rally Championship category Champions Jasmeet Chana and Eric Bengi, and current Two Wheel Drive Turbo autocross leader Shalien Mughal who will be showcasing his new Subaru N10 buggy.
Also in the mix are second generation drivers including Dan Nyorri, Shazar Anwar and Ken Nteere who participates in the National Autocross Championship. Ken is son of the late Washington Nteere who drove in national rallies in the 90s, Shazar son of the legendary Azar Anwar and Dan the son of 2WD Championship contender. Sammy Nyorri.
According to organiser Azar Anwar, the rally will feature three classes including group K which is the entry level for newcomers, Group S which is a middle level also comprising SPVs and group R which is the high performance group.
Scrutineering and recconaisance will take place on September 9.
The rally will be flagged off at Golden Palm Hotel near the famous Thika Road’s Kenol filling station at 7am on September 10 and end at Kangari Technical College. featuring 6 competitive stages three of which will be repeated to make up a total of 9 stages. Rally HQS will be centered on Golden Palm hotel from September 9 after which it will move to Kangari after the start. The total distance will be 225km of which competitive mileage is 125 km. The designated spectator viewing point which will be repeated twice will be at Mairi Secondary School.
Mairi stage is a 22km stretch which goes through Ndakaini Dam then up and down the escarpment.
Clerk of the Course George Njoroge said the objective of the event is to help whip up the enthusiasm of upcoming competitors who can’t afford the hefty KNRC budget.
“All you need are basic requirements like a roll cage, helmet and safety harness, also toe ropes and fire extinguishers etc.” Njoroge said.
Bengi who is the outgoing Two Wheel Drive Champion will be navigated by his championship winning lady navigator Tuta Mionki aka Tuts while former KNRC Two Wheel and Group S champion Jasmeet Chana will be unveiling his newly acquired ex-Johnny Hellier Mitsubishi Gallant VR4.
“It’s such a good feeling knowing that the car you are driving has previously been driven by a legend and it’s one of the most gratifying thing when you own such a car,.” said Jasmeet aka Iceman.
Bengi was all smiles and this is what he had to say when reached for interview: “It has been a long sit out since Kajiado rally in June and we are definitely very rusty. We chose to enter the Raia rally to refresh ahead of the next Kenya National, ” said Bengi.
Aberdare Raia Rally Entry List:
1.P. Kibaara/ Giks Wamuyu
2. Steve Mwangi/ Kosgei
3. Eric Njogu/ Steve Nyorri
4. Shalien Mughal/Imran Hakada- Subaru N10 Buggy
5. Sudir Wason/Cody Wason-Subaru RX Turbo
6. Steve Gacheru/ TBA
7. Sam Karangatha/ Edward Ndukui-Subaru
8. Eric Bengi/ Tuta Mionki
9. Osman Abdullahi/George Mwangi – Subaru N14
10. S. Nyorri/ Mwangi kioni- RunX
11. D. Nyorri/ Jessie Simbolei- Toyota Vitz
12. Davy Kahugu/ TBA
13. Captain G/ Denis Mwenda
14. Jeff Ominde- Subaru
15. Shazar Anwar- Makmende
16. Shabaz Anwar- Duma Buggy
17. Henry Nyoike/ TBA
18. Jasmeet Chana
19. Issa/ TBA
20 Ken Nteere/ Linet Ayuko-Subaru N10