•Piloting his state-of-the-art M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta Rally3 and navigated by compatriot Mwangi Kioni, Kimathi clocked 2:12.17.00 to finish eighth overall.
•FIA Rally Star Hamza Anwar was well on course for a fairy-tale finish but bowed out in the second leg’s stage five with a broken rear hub.
Kenya’s WRC3 contender McRae Kimathi was the top-placed Kenyan during the muddy and slippery Africa Rally Championships (ARC) Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally yesterday.
Piloting his state-of-the-art M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta Rally3 and navigated by compatriot Mwangi Kioni, Kimathi clocked 2:12.17.00 to finish eighth overall.
McRae, who is defending the ARC Junior title that he won during the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally 2022, was using the Pearl Rally’ to prepare for the upcoming WRC Rally Portugal.
Ugandan Jas Mangat emerged overall winner, beating Leroy Gomes of Zambia to second with Rwandese warhorse Giancarlo Davite completing the podium. Both Leroy and Davite were navigated by female navigators. Leroy had his pace-notes called by his wife Urshlla while Sylvia Vindevogel of Burundi navigated Davite.
Mangat, who competes under Pilipili Rally Team livery, posted one hour, 58mins and six seconds to achieve the feat.
Fourth behind the wheel of a Subaru Impreza was Ponsiano Lwakataka while his Ugandan compatriot Yasin Nasser settled for fifth.
The third round of the ARC was definitely not a walk in the park for Kenyan crews given the inclement weather conditions witnessed on the route course.
FIA Rally Star Hamza Anwar was well on course for a fairy-tale finish but bowed out in the second leg’s stage five with a broken rear hub.
Hamza, son of former Nanyuki Rally Champion Asad Anwar, was the top placed Kenyan in fifth after the grueling Leg 1 on Saturday.
Kenya National Rally leader Karan Patel was among the Kenyans who suffered blows in the treacherous conditions. He then rejoined the rally as per the ‘Super Rally’ rule on Sunday morning to settle for 9th place.
Karan, who is fighting for a maiden career ARC title this year, managed to salvage a few points despite his disappointing Day One experience after his Fiesta went off the road and landed into a ditch.
“It was a lesson for me. I need to drive a lot more on slippery surfaces,” said Karan after a disappointing end to his Leg 1 campaign.
“We have set stage times in the past and we can do it again. However, with this kind of conditions, It is not easy,” said Karan, who piloted a Ford Fiesta Rally2 navigated by compatriot Tauseef Khan.