Chana admits title fight against Karan will be tigher during Voi finale
Series leader Jasmeet Chana anticipates a big fight for the KBL-sponsored Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) title in Voi with rival Karan Patel expected to be on maximum attack.
Chana approaches the season-closing title decider 9- points ahead of his opponent Karan, with 30 points to play for in the Sikh Union Club organized Guru Nanak Rally.
Karan will pilot a Ford Fiesta Rally2 in the event which starts at Voi Wildlife Lodge and finishes at the expansive Teita Estate on Saturday All he needs is to win the event outright and score a maximum 3 points on the power stage to be on the safe side.
This will make.him the champion if Chana aka Iceman finishes second but does not score on the power stage.
Karan heads into Voi off the back of a sixth victory of the season last time out in Machakos where he reignited his title hopes by lowering Chana’s initial 20 -point advantage to 9.
Bamba Rally saw Karan retire with gearbox gremlins but it will be interesting to see how the championship tussle pans out in the vast Taita Taveta County.
While Karan remains a firm favourite given his nature of Rally2 Fiesta- and by extension- his ‘fast and furious’ cockpit antics, he is expecting to face an equally title-thirsty Chana in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10. Both Chana and Karan have yet to lay their hands on the coveted KNRC title currently held by Carl “Flash” Tundo.
But Chana feels good, excited and really motivated to start his Voi campaign at the summit of the series.
He reiterates: “It has become a bit tighter now after the penultimate Machakos round. So, hopefully let’s see how it goes in Voi. We will be positive. We will still fight to the very end. Opening the road was not a good idea in Machakos as we had a lot of animals that we had to stop for, so it was a bit difficult time for us.”
Karan’s navigator Tauseef Khan is keeping his fingers crossed and here is what he says about the Voi finale: “It’s been a gopd season for us. Unfortunately, we broke down in Bamba where our gearbox packed up. But going into the last rally in Voi, expectations are a lot higher.”
Asked about his strategy for the weekend, Karan quips that the plan is the same- “to win the event”.
Karan: “We are going back to Voi for Guru Nanak where we won our first KNRC in 2021 which is really exciting.”
Away from the much anticipated Karan-Chana tussle, other drivers will also drive to maximize on championship points and to try and end it on a high.
Leonardo Varese already has the KNRC Division 3 and Two Wheel Drive titles in the bag but is eager to increase his point scores on both logs.
Besides his category titles, Varese is also seeking to wrap his KNRC campaign in a career best championship finish.
He currently sits fourth on the KNRC Overall log with 82points behind Kush Patel who dislodged him from third position in Machakos Rally.
Varese is spurred on by his 100% finish record which places him closer to the big boys of the series.
Crews in Voi will tackle a Competitive Distance totaling to159.17km while the Liaison Distance is 70.91km.
Four stages will be repeated to make a competitive run of eight stages. The repeat run of Charcoal Stage (21.30km) will serve as the power stage where the fastest three drivers will earn additional 3-2-1 points on the main championship log.