Published on February 11th, 2013 | by Trevor Lamenya0
Winning start for Sean, Tejas, Boulanger, Nish in Ganatra/Jcb Rally Raid
The Ganatra/JCB Rally Raid Championship round one event culminated with some exhilarating displays of off-road artistry around Mount Kenya region, organised by Rally Sports Club (RSC).
Drama, speed, scintillating river-crossings sections and navigation of the route course by bikes, quads, buggies and cars competitors was the order of the day amidst two days of the energy-sapping competition which culminated with Prize Giving at Mt. Kenya Leisure Lodge in Naro Moru.
Vincent Boulanger rode his Can-Am Renegade quad to victory. He vanquished defending quad bike champion Shazar Anwar (Bombardier 650) to second place.
Adin Haq, in a Range Rover eBowler and his partner Stuart Cohen, were one of the biggest movers finishing second overall in the car category up from seventh on the first day on Saturday.
But Champions Nish Lakhani (car class), Tejas Hirani (buggy class) and Sean Wilcock (bike class) all managed to rally from behind on Day 1 showdown on Saturday to pull through in awesome fashion on Sunday. They have now racked up early points with in the five-round Raid Championship -sponsored by JCB Country agents Ganatra Plant and Equipment LImited.
Nish, navigated by Teeku Patel in the championship winning “Kenya Cat” machine, rallied from third position on Day 1 behind former Champion Sammy Jessel to chalk up what he termed “emphatic victory” in blistering Day 2 showdown. Teenager Tejas had his campaign effectively sewn up when Ian Duncan’s buggy ran into gremlins.
Sean Wilcock recovered from second place on Saturday to start his defence on the summit.
“Day 1 was good. We had some technical stages but a lot of fast open roads. Starting first was a bit of a disadvantage and we lost some time with navigational issues so we came in third on Saturday-only six minutes behind overnight leader (Sammy Jessel). We had a good day on Sunday. We fixed the car overnight and she ran well. Teeku did a great job and got navigation spot on. A steady pace and we came out on top today (Sunday),” said Nish.
Rhino Charge driver Gurmit Mehta was excited with his raid debut in a buggy though he admitted that navigation was his biggest undoing.
“First time in any rally event. Navigational issues on the first leg of day one caused us a time penalty of 1hour. The 2nd leg went well. I will be doing the 4×4 next weekend – change of driving style and mindset,” said Gurmit.
Tejas’ navigator Riyaz Ismail was all smiles.
“Out of the 5 entries our Magi-Bug had the smallest engine capacity. Starting the event, we had decided that we will drive clean to avoid problems. In Leg 1, the other 3 buggies had mechanical and navigational problems. So we went to bed lying second with the leader 25mins ahead of us and the rest 30mins behind. Starting Sunday’s stage, our strategy was the same, and when we saw Ian’s buggy stopped by the road we knew victory was ours. Its a good way to start our title defense with a win,” said Riyaz.
ROUND 1 RESULTS-GANATRA/JCB RALLY RAID
1.Tejas Hirani/Riyaz Ismail (Magi-Bug) 3.13.10
2.Ian Duncan 3.19.56
3.Alex Gibbs/ Zoe Gibbs 3.47.11
4.Gurmit Mehta A. Sodi 3.59.17
5. Kailesh retired
1. Nish Lakhani/Teeku Patel (Kenya Cat) 2.41.48
2. Adin Haq/Stuart Cohen (Range Rover eBowler) 2.56.55
3. Sammy Jessel (Land Rover) 3.38.04
4. Joost Zuurbier/ Shameer Ole Yusuf (Tomcat) 3.24.15
1. Sean Wilcock 2.23.32
2. Robbie Calder 2.29.02
3. Gerald Taylor 2.36.43
4. John Ross 2.37.55
1. Vincent Boulanger (Can-Am Renegade) 2.19.20
2. Shazar Anwar (Bombardier 650) 2.26.32
3. Christian Collette 3.18.53
4. Chris Wahome 3,20.45
*Words by Sam Ateka,KMSF.