Jasmeet Chana savours Guru Nanak Rally victory after dominant performance

MOTORSPORTS Jasmeet Chana savours Guru Nanak Rally victory after dominant performance

Joel Omotto 19:30 - 05.11.2023

The 2023 national rally champion Jasmeet Chana was in a class of his own as he led from start to finish to claim the penultimate round, the Guru Nanak Rally in Nakuru county

Newly-crowned 2023 Kenya National Rally Champions champion Jasmeet Singh Chana aka “Iceman” has finally joined the growing list of past winners of the iconic Guru Nanak Rally.

Driving his championship-winning Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10, Chana had his campaign effectively sewn up when his race adversaries failed to catch him in the wet and muddy conditions in around Mbweha Conservancy, Soysambu and Sleeping Warrior in the Great Rift Valley’s Elementeita region, Nakuru county on Sunday.

“With the championship already in the bag, we went into the penultimate round eight event under no pressure,” said Chana, who led the rally from start to finish.

“The essence for now is to enjoy the remaining bit of the season before starting our new challenge. It was such an exciting outing to have a fun wet rally without feeling any pressure.”

Chana took an early lead after he claimed the initial run of the 21km SS1 Mbweha speed-test. Skoda Fabia’s Samman set the quickest time on the 23km SS2 Sleeping Warrior 1 but Chana clung onto his lead with a six-second lead over the former.

Navigator-tuned-driver Piers Daykin also displayed steady pace in his Datsun 280Z Classic car by winning the third stage at Soysambu, but Chana still consolidated his lead, this time with a massive 56.48seconds advantage after Samman’s penalty woes.

Samman Vohra bounced back with three fastest times on repeat runs of Mbweha, Sleeping Warrior and Soysambu but it was Chana again who led the rally with one stage remaining.

Chana won the third run of the demanding Mbweha test (the day’s power Stage) which earned him three bonus points on the KNRC table as Samman took third fastest on this closing stage to salvage a bonus point. Jeremiah Wahome took two bonus points on the power stage for his second fastest time.

Chana’s maiden Guru Nanak win went down as his third career victory while Vohra, winner of last month’s KMSC Rally, was well on course for great things but suffered a hefty penalty at the start of SS3.

“We could have won this rally by a bigger margin but we were handed a 10-minute penalty at start of SS3 for checking into the time control early. But I’m glad we fought back position to claim a podium third place,” said Vohra.

McRae Kimathi came second overall in a Ford Fiesta Rally 3 while Ian Duncan, who has won the Guru Nanak a record 12 times, didn’t leave the Sikh Union organised round empty-handed, as he went home with the Classic Car title. Duncan finished fourth overall.

Physically Challenged driver Nikhil Sachania won the NR4 Class in his hand-controlled Evo 10 whilst Chinu Matharu, in a CRT Protype, won the raid class.

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