Fast-rising Bengi, Mirza and Chana promoted to Premier Class

Jasmeet Chana and his brother Ravi Chana during a past KNRC rally /COURTESY
Jasmeet Chana and his brother Ravi Chana during a past KNRC rally /COURTESY

Kenya National Rally Championships (KNRC) Division 1 and Group ‘N’ champion Eric Bengi, Mombasa’s Izhar Mirza and former 2WD champion Jasmeet Chana have been promoted to Premier Class, joining the league of 10 highest seeded drivers.

The 2019 Premier Class has reigning African champion Manvir Baryan, KNRC champion Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, Baldev Chager, Rai siblings Onkar and Tejveer, Bengi, Jasmeet, Izhar aka Izzy, legendary Ian Duncan and 2015 ARC champion Jassi Chatthe. Former Division 3 and ‘S’ class champion Karan Patel and Farhaaz Khan have been relegated to Division One.

Mombasa Motor Club drivers Paras Pandya, Sohanjeet Puee, Adil Mirza and Ammar ‘Bushy’ Haq have moved up to Division 2 alongside Sohanjeet Puee, one of the fastest rising youngsters, who clinched KNRC Division 2 and S Class Championships in his first full season on the KNRC front.

Nikhil Sachania, the only physically challenged driver on the KNRC series, has been promoted from Division 3 to 2. Nikhil, who drove a hand-controlled SPV Evolution 10, won the KNRC Division 3 and SPV (specially prepared vehicles) categories. The never-say- never veteran Frank Tundo has dropped from Division 1 to 2. KMSF also announced rotational seedings for all 2019 KNRC events. Tejveer Rai will be the first off the ramp in Nakuru while Bengi has been seeded first in KMSC Rally.

Ian Duncan is the top seed for Eldoret Rally while Jassi Chatthe will sweep the roads in the second RVMSC event. RVMSC are organising two events to make up for Mombasa Motor Club who are not running a KNRC event next season.

Flash Tundo, who will be seeking to surpass Shekhar Mehta’s record of five wins, has been seeded first on KNRC 5 Safari which will be a World Rally Championship candidate event in 2019. Carl equaled Shekhar’s long-standing record during the 2018 edition of Safari Rally. The Safari Rally 2019 will also count towards the FIA African Rally Championship. Onkar, Baldev Chager and Manvir Baryan are seeded first in Nanyuki, RSC and Guru Nanak rallies respectively.