Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Twisty Rally Ushers in 2012 KCB Championship

Nyeri — It was a dust raising afternoon at the Ruringu Stadium in Nyeri Saturday as the first day of the KCB Micro Banking Rally kicked off.

Alastair Cavenagh was the quickest in the special spectator stage with an 8000 strong crowd cheering him and the other drivers as they set the pace in day one of the rally.

Cavenagh clocked 1minute :09 seconds to complete the 1.2 Kilometer stage, followed by Peter Horsey a second behind, 1 minute: 09 seconds followed by his brother Alex one second adrift to finish in third place.

Earlier in the day, the rigorous reconnaissance exercise ended with the drivers describing Mount Kenya route course "twisty and technical."

The first 6kilometers of CS2 Wariruta-Ngunguru stage were very steep and narrow and most of the crews felt there is need for extra caution.

"If somebody breaks up on CS2 then its going to stop the entire rally traffic," said Subaru driver Nooormohamed Mohamed.

After the shot 1.2kilometer stage at Ruringu, the KCB Micro Banking Rally proper restarts today.

The event, which opens the eight leg KCB Kenya National Rally Championship, runs 14 stages with a competitive mileage of 160kilometers.

Scrutineering took place in the morning at Green Hills hotel. Drivers recounted their experience after recceing the route. A total of 50 drivers have enlisted for the event organized by Rallye Sports Club and co-sponsored iWay Africa, ALS, Car Track and Fly 540.

While teams were busy in scrutineering, KCB Foundation continued with their successful CSR at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital where they donated hospital equipment worth Ksh. 520,000. In attendance was the KCB Foundation Chairman Sue Omanga and KCB Group Chairma Peter Muthoka.

"Some stages are just too quick. Others are simple but really technical," said Oilibya Racing driver Charles Hinga.

"CS2, 3 and 4 are very tricky stages. They are narrow and laden with tricky ruts. But its encouraging that I have good shocks this time round so I will drive very fast. I really love twisty terrains so I guess it going to be fantastic fun to all," Subaru driver Noormohamed continued.

Former Pirelli star driver contender Raaji Bharij sounded quite enthusiastic after recce on his maiden drive in his new Mitsubishi EVO9.

"The route is really twisty and technical. I have just recced the fastest stage (CS6) of my life," said Bharij.

The 2WD cars will from today henceforth tackle the full rally. Yesterday, they were pondering on how to endure the full distance.

"I have never seen such a long rally its like two rallies in total. First two stages two stages are too tight with lots of corners. The rest of the route opens up with few rocky stretches," two times 2WD former Champion Leo Varese.

The rally begings at 8am on Sunday with the drivers and their crews tackling the 14 stages laid out by the Rallye Sports Club, who are the organisers of this round.

The ceremonial finish is to be held at the Ruringu Stadium at around 4:30pm.

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