What you need to know:
- Patel, the new Kenya national rally champion and runner-up in the FIA African Rally Championship and his co-driver Tauseef Khan were aiming to win the event for the second year running in the Ford Fiesta
- Losing a champion who represented Kenya on the African continent due to sponsorship is a big blow to the undermined KNRC series
- Only 16 cars have entered the KBL-sponsored round of the 2023 Kenya National Rally Championship though organisers are making extra efforts to try and attract more participants in the coming events
Newly crowned Motorsports Personality of the Year Karan Patel has withdrawn from the Rallye Sports Club (RSC) Machakos Rally due to lack of sponsorship.
Patel, the new Kenya national rally champion and runner-up in the FIA African Rally Championship and his co-driver Tauseef Khan were aiming to win the event for the second year running in the Ford Fiesta but sadly they have been forced to pull out from the opening round of the the 2023 Kenya National Rally Championship.
“We are so sad and unfortunate that our team had to withdraw from the rally at the last minute. Sponsors played a major downfall role,” Kiran Patel, the father of Karan, told Nation Sport.
Losing a champion who represented Kenya on the African continent due to sponsorship is a big blow to the undermined KNRC series.
The Rally Sport Club Rally is set to be flagged off Sunday morning at 8am from Machakos People's Park in Machakos County.
Only 16 cars have entered the KBL-sponsored round of the 2023 Kenya National Rally Championship though organisers are making extra efforts to try and attract more participants in the coming events.
The rally will be based around Lisa Park in the outskirts of Machakos after the competition is flagged off from the People’s Park in Machakos.
Three Competitive Stages will be repeated twice. The total distance will be 154.82 kms. Transport Distance will be 28.98 kms.
The Longest Competitive Stage will be the Phill/Lisa Farm of 30.58kms. The shortest stage will be the Spectator Stage of 6kms.
The Spectator Stage will kick off the rally from the People’s Park in Machakos on Sunday 8am.
The competition is expected to end around 1.50pm.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Motor Sports Federation has modified the 2023 National Competition Rules (NCRs) where the current rules of the Classes of Cars are modified.
Generally, the Divisions have been replaced by Classes though eyes will be on the RC2, 3 and 4 Classes.
The Ford Fiestas and Skoda Fabia will fall either under the RC2, RC3 or RC4 categories while the Mitsubishi Lancer’s will come under the Nat-B13 classes. Other Classes include the Nat-2WD (VW Golf) and Nat-Classic (Datsun Violet) cars respectively.
Former rally navigator, Zahid Mughul will oversee the timing system. The results will be issued under his leadership.
Timing in the sport of rallying is one of the most important and complicated matters if one does not understand the technology.
Every car in the rally must be fitted with the Tracking equipment which keeps track of movement of the car and records exact timing once it crosses the bar at each and every Time Control.
The technology also helps to keep track of the car in case of an accident during the competition.
A navigator must be aware of the switch which is in the car that should be put on, the moment the crew stops to change a tyre or for a mechanical issue. Otherwise, the organisers are forced to send an emergency rescue team to monitor the incident once they notice the car has stopped in the stage.
Separately, once the car crosses the Timing Bar at a Time Control point, the timing is quickly recorded at the head office to give indication of how fast or slow the car was moving.
The system is GPS based and each tracker has a Sim that sends a signal every second to the servers from where info is relayed to the system. They can pick all the information from the tracker. It monitors g-forces the car is under, status of the engine, speed of the car and exact location.
Scrutineers have to check each and every car to make sure the Tracking System is fitted in the rally car at a special fee.
Organisers have the right to refuse start of the rally if the crew fails to show the gadget.