The Nation (Nairobi)

21 June 2007

Kenya: Rallying - Duncan Eyes Nakuru Victory

Nairobi — Top rally drivers have been busy preparing for the journey to Kabarnet ahead of the KCB Easy Pay Loan Rally.

The rally's recce will be held tomorrow.

The short time available for route survey levels the ground for the 25 contestants lined up for a classic race in the Kerio Valley and adjacent highlands.

Ian Duncan, looking for a record eighth title in the Nakuru Rally, is the hot favourite to win although Lee Rose, Alistair Cavenagh, Carl Tundo and Asad Anwar are perfectly positioned in the mix.

The man set to determine the course of the rally is Baldev Chager, first off the ramp. However, Chager, second last year in the KCB national rally championship, was cautious with his words.

"Starting first has its advantages and disadvantages. The first guy always gets the animals, cars and people to clear," said Chager, who will drive a Subaru Impreza.

"The cars following you will also pick your driving lines very easily. The only advantage is in cases of rains where first few cars get away with the drizzle and the rest in the downpour."

Anwar, in a Mitsubishi EVO 7, is back on the attack after sorting out mechanical problems he suffered in Eldoret.

The 1999 national champion, Alastair Cavenagh, seeded third, anticipates better reliability from his new EVO8 machine. Duncan will be crowding his side mirror as they head down the Kerio sections.

Duncan is looking for another symbolic victory. It was in Nakuru that he notched his first career win back in 1987.

Muchemi, who has had a consistent run in the KCB national rally series, said he was eyeing top five positions after acquiring a Motec engine control unit.

"Since it is a hairy event, we want to drive sensibly fast and bring the car back in one piece. My navigator (George Njoroge) is working round the clock to ensure the Motec is in place. But we should have enhanced torque in Kabarnet," said Muchemi.

Tundo still leads the KCB KNRC series with 170 points followed by Asad Anwar on 140 points. Susheel Shah is placed third on 126 points ahead of Chager with 125.

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