Inaugural Rally Cross extravaganza attracts legends, youngsters, lady aces

Thursday, July 7th, 2022 01:46 | By
Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo navigated by Tim Jessop power their Evo 10 rally car at the Kasarani spectator stage during last month’s WRC Safari Rally. PD/ Phillip Kamakya

WRC3 Safari Rally 2022 winner Maxine Wahome and two times Middle East Rally Champion Ron Oakley will be among the star attractions in the forthcoming Rallycross set for Machakos People’s Park on the weekend of 9-10th July.

Maxine will be part of Team 1 which will be headed by multiple ARC Safari Navigators’ Champion Tim Jessop alongside FIA Rally Star Program driver Hamza Anwar and Oakley

Team 2 has legendary Carl Tundo, ‘Haraka Mama” Joan Nesbitt, two times Kenya Champion Alastair Cavenagh and FIA Rally Star Jeremy Wahome. Jeremy finished second in WRC3 during the recent WRC Safari and will looking to replicate his cockpit knack in a different ball game.

Baldev Chager aka “Flying Singh” will spearhead Team 3 campaign alongside newcomer and petrolhead Joseph Gacheche, Safari veteran Frank “The Tank” Tundo and Guru Nanak Rally navigator winner Tash Tundo.

Tasha is a former KNRC Division 3 Champion in a Subaru N10 and one of the top lady drivers in the country at the present. She finished second behind Maxine at the Inaugural Lioness All-Women’s Rally held at the WRC Safari Rally racetrack in Kasarani where her mum Lynn Tundo was one of the event’s MCs.

Former Kenya Two Wheel Drive and Group N Champion Eric Bengi will be back in the saddle. Bengi is lined up for the momentous event with husband and wife Mindo and Caroline Gatimu and 18-year-old Autocross star Rajveer Thethy.

Rajveer, son of former KNRC Two Wheel Drive Champion Charan, is one of Kenya’s circuit racing stars trying to make an impression in the rally-sport.

Former Nanyuki Rally winner and master of Super Specials (Hamza’s dad) Asad Anwar aka “Bubbling’ will be Team Five’s stalwart and will be teaming up with Kenya’s Junior WRC and WRC3 contender McRae Kimathi, “old boy’ Geoff Bell and lady autocross star driver Nisha Pandya.

The most interesting group of them all is that of the all- lady crew headed by legend Ann Taieth, Media Rally Star Pauline Shegu, Hellen Wambui and Lioness All-Women’s Rally founder Lisa Christoffersen.

Ann is an avid rally fan and photographer. She is incidentally the first ever woman to win a round of the KNRC alongside Sylvia King, who is the Sponsorship Liaison at KMSF. The never- say-never Ann participated in the 1972 Easy African Safari.

According to organizer Carl Tundo, the event is a Rallycross exhibition christened “Race with Champions”.

The event will feature one car of 4 drivers using 2-litre turbo contraptions.

“Saturday will feature 3 heats while Sunday will serve as the final showdown.”

Tundo: “There will be no qualifying for the grid. Each racer will score points for their team.; and four teams with most points will proceed to the final. At the end of it all, it will be a team prize event. No individual will be given a Prize,” explained Tundo.

“We also have various exhibition races throughout the weekend for fun-so thrills and spills are guaranteed. It’s the next big thing in Kenya after Safari.”

“With the help of Machakos County and Governor Mutua, we are holding an exhibition Motorsport Festival at the Machakos peoples Park called ‘The Race with Champions.’ This inaugural event that will be used as yardstick to showcase how exciting and spectacular Rallycross is to Motorsport enthusiasts.”

“We have invited 8 teams. Each team will consist of a Junior, lady, champion and veteran. Each category will race against each other and score points for their team. At the end of the weekend, there will be a winning team. We are using 2 lt turbo ex rally cars like the Subaru N10 or Mitsubishi Evo 9.”

Tundo expounded in finality: “We are trying to create a vibrant, festival like atmosphere on a first of its kind track and entertainment village. With Nairobi being only an hour away, it should be a great show.”

“After the inaugural exhibition weekend, we will then look to set up a championship which will join our motorsport calendar. Look into opening up classes of all forms of car makes and models. From Vitz to super cars. The long term ultimate dream is to host a round of the World Rally cross Series!”

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