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February 23, 2019

Tuta emerges best: Female navigator crowned 2018 personality of the year

KCB’s head of marketing, Angela Mwirigi presents Tuta Mionki after being declared the 2018 motorsports Personality of the Year
KCB’s head of marketing, Angela Mwirigi presents Tuta Mionki after being declared the 2018 motorsports Personality of the Year

Double navigator champion Tuta Mionki was crowned the 2018 Kenya Motor Sports Personality of the Year following a colourful ceremony in Nairobi.

The former Two Wheel Drive navigator champion was rewarded for a successful season which saw her clinch the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) Division 1 and Group N categories. Tuta, who navigated Eric Bengi in a Subaru Impreza N12, beat two other nominees— Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo and Tim Jessop— to the coveted title.

Tuta garnered five votes against Jessop’s two and Flash’s one in an event which decided by motor clubs and KMSF commissions.

In an interview, Tuta said: “Basically, we had a very strong team, which helped us focus on the car and considering we were coming from a bad season in 2017, where we finished only two events, we decided we wanted to do it a lot more meticulously and better, so we took one event at a time.”

The event also feted the 2018 champions in KNRC, rally raid, Autocross and karting championships. Tundo and his long serving partner Tim Jessop received their trophies for the KNRC main class.

The B13 class which allows competitors to use bigger turbo destructors and a sequential gearbox is being phased out by KMSF effective 2019.

Bengi and Tuta savoured their KNRC Division 1 and Group N double and so were Mombasa crew of Sohanjeet Singh Puee and Adnan Din who won Division Two and Group ‘S’. Division III and KNRC SPV class champions were Nikhil Sachania and Alfir Khan. Sachania, who is a physically challenged driver and who drives a hand controlled Evolution 10, had his trophy received by his team manager Tinu Khan as he is currently out of the country. The 2WD champions were Sarit Shah (drivers) and Wayne Fernandes (navigators).

The overall Raid champions were Ross Field and Quentin Savage who also won the Motorcar-Prototype class. The motorcar-modified class honours went to Adin Haq and Kavit J. Dave while the Buggy was taken by Abid Ganatra and Sameer Mohammed. The Kenya National Autocross champions were Safina Khan ( 2WD non-Turbo), Inran Hakada ( 2WD Turbo), Sahib Omar ( 4WD Turbo). Kirit Rajput and his son Yuvraj Rajput won the Open and bambino classes respectively.

Karting Champions were Zack McKean ( 60cc class), Yuvraj Rajput (Iame class), William Kim (junior rotax), Yash Gohil (Rotax mini max class) and Neel Vadgama (Open class). KCB Bank head of marketing Angela Mwirigi noted that after a solid 16 years of the rally sport support they are proud as a Group to continue supporting various disciplines of motors sports and sports in general.

“In the next three years, we will be supporting motor sports and look forward to a very strong partnership with KMSF,” said Angela. KCB are expected to announce their return to the title sponsorship of the 2019 KNRC in due course. KMSF chairman and WRC Safari Project CEO Phineas Kimathi said 2019 will be an eventful year especially with the WRC Safari candidature in July. He said clubs will now receive an improved facilitation of the KNRC sponsorship while KMSF will take over the provision of the safety chopper.

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