•Rejoining the muddy Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in May on "Super Rally" also saw Karan lose vital championship points as he wrapped up the Kampala-based fixture in a disappointing 10th overall position.
•Karan, who is also a contender for the 2022 Kenya National Rally Championship title back home, saw the coveted title slip through his grasps despite winning four out of six rounds in Kenya (Equator), Rwanda (Mountain Gorilla), Tanzania and Zambia.
Karan Patel of Kenya won the ARC Sarago Zambia International Rally in Lusaka but lost the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) title to Ndola-based speedster Leroy Gomes.
Karan, who is also a contender for the 2022 Kenya National Rally Championship title back home, saw the coveted title slip through his grasps despite winning four out of six rounds in Kenya (Equator), Rwanda (Mountain Gorilla), Tanzania and Zambia.
Rejoining the muddy Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in May on "Super Rally" also saw Karan lose vital championship points as he wrapped up the Kampala-based fixture in a disappointing 10th overall position.
But victory in the 48th edition of Rallye Bandama in Côte d'Ivoire in February gave the husband and wife team of Leroy and Urshlla Gomes a head start in the six-leg competition whose last round in South Africa was called off due to financial constraints.
After Côte d'Ivoire, Gomes finished second in the remaining five rounds in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia to seal the title on home soil.
He now brings to an end the seven-year dominance of the title by Kenyans after Jasi Chathe in 2015, Manvir Baryan's memorable hat trick between 2017-19, Don Smith in 2016 and Carl "Flash" Tundo in 2021.
In Lusaka, Karan drove like a man possessed beating the new champion Gomes by a 0:.01.02minutes margin as Junior WRC star McRae Kimathi sealed the podium dash in his M-sport Poland prepared Ford Fiesta Rally3.
A podium finish in the sixth round of the continental series also handed Kimathi junior the ARC3 title much to his credit.
Hamza Anwar's fourth overall in Zambia also saw him beat compatriot Jeremiah Wahome to the 2022 ARC Junior title won by McRae last year.
The core contenders on the 2022 ARC front -who included Karan and the youngsters quartet of Maxine, Jeremiah, McRae, and Hamza - all skipped the season-opening Côte d'Ivoire fixture and only kick-started their spirited campaign on ARC Equator Rally Kenya.
Bandama was for the umpteenth time the season opener for the 2022 continental series first held in the early 1980s.
Bandama was part of the World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers from 1978 to 1981, and part of the drivers' championship only in 1977 and from 1982 to 1992.
In 2006, Rallye Bandana was part of the African Rally Championship but was dropped for the 2007 season due to reports by observers.
Sarago Zambia International Rally standings
1 (#50) Karan K Patel KEN /Tauseef Khan KEN- Ford Fiesta Rally 2 2:22:21
2 (#1) Leroy Gomes ZAM/ Urshilla Gomes ZAM -Ford Fiesta Rally 2 2:23:23
3 (#54) McRae Kimathi /KEN Mwangi Kioni KEN- Ford Fiesta Raly 3 2:33:24 0:11:03
4 (#51)Hamza Anwar KEN /Adnan Din KEN Ford Fiesta Rally 3 2:36:31
5 (#53 Maxine Wahome KEN/ Murage Wa Waigwa KEN -Ford Fiesta Rally 2:41:25
6 (#52) Jeremiah Wahome KEN /Victor Okundi KEN- Ford Fiesta Rally 3 ARC 2:45:41
FINAL ARC STANDINGS (TOP 10)
Leroy Gomes (ZAM) 150 points
Karan Patel (KEN) 135
Hamza Anwar (KEN) 74
Jeremiah Wahome (KEN) 70
McRae Kimathi 64
Jas Mangat (UGA) 49
Maxine Wahome (KEN) 45
Giancarlo Davite (RWA) 38
Yasin M Nasser (UG) 34
Jasmeet Chana (KEN) 21
Hamza Anwar 111
McRae Kimathi 100
Jeremy Wahome 97
Maxine Wahome 64
Rio Smith 17
McRae Kimathi 105
Jeremiy Wahome 97
Hamza Anwar 84
Maxine Wahome 40