Samman Vohra shows class to claim victory at season-opening Eldoret Rally

MOTORSPORTS Samman Vohra shows class to claim victory at season-opening Eldoret Rally

Joel Omotto 18:37 - 17.02.2024

Samman Vohra cleared all the six stages quickest as he laid down the marker by claiming the win at the season-opening Eldoret Rally with champion Jasmeet Chana in second place.

Samman Vohra floored his opponents to win the season-opening Eldoret Rally on Saturday.

Driving a Skoda Fabia Rally2 and navigated by Alfir Khan, Nairobi-based youngster cleared six stages in a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes and 37 seconds, beating reigning Kenya champion Jasmeet Chana, who clocked 1 hour and 33 minutes, in a Mitsubishi Lancer B13.

Reigning Uganda and Tanzania rally champion Yasin Nasser completed the podium, also in a Ford Fiesta, finishing in 2 hours and 57 minutes behind Vohra.

Nasser, a two-time Uganda champion in 2019 and 2023, is hoping to deliver an unprecedented hat-trick this season by being the first rally driver to win all elite championship titles in the three East African countries.

Vohra, who previously competed in local Rally Raid and Autocross events, is aiming for a maiden career Kenya National rally Championship title in 2024.

Having made a late foray into the local series last season, Vohra has displayed grit and pace, winning in Kajiado in blistering fashion.

“The objective for the year is to just keep on improving our pace rally by rally. The car has gone through a major strip down and rebuild and we are chuffed to emerge the winners in the season opener. We are also doing the Safari and we hope the car performs,” said Vohra.

Meanwhile, veteran Ian Duncan, navigated by Jaspal Matharu, in a Nissan Patrol pickup came in fourth overall, also winning the SPV (Specially Prepared Vehicles) category.

Coming in a distant fifth was home driver Ghalib Hajee in a B13 Mitsubishi Evolution X, who finished 15.05.000 minutes behind the winner and 10.26.000minutes a drift of Duncan.

Another home driver Joey Ghose finished sixth overall behind the wheel of a Porsche 911, coming in first in the Classic Car category.

Jose Sardinha in a VW Golf GTi emerged the Two Wheel Drive winner, in seventh overall position, while Khalid Umar, in a Subaru Impreza, racked up Group S in eighth overall position.

The WRC Safari Rally will count as the second round of the KNRC on the weekend of March 28-31. For the last three editions since its elevation to global status, the WRC Safari features a national category where drivers and navigators score points towards the local series.

The Kenyan round of the FIA African Rally Championship (Equator) will also count towards KNRC points.

This year’s Equator Rally Kenya, initially scheduled for October, will now be held four months earlier in June.

The Kenyan leg of FIA African Rally Championship - previously used as a dry run for the WRC Safari Rally -will now happen on the weekend of June 28-30.

Rwanda requested for a change of date because of the country's national elections which coincide with the initial data of June.

Consequently, Rwanda's Gorilla Rally now moves from June to the weekend of October 25-27.

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