Nairobi — The opening round of the 2019 Amiran Kenya National Rally Raid Championship roars into action on Kedong Ranch this weekend with nearly 30 percent of the confirmed entries being newcomers to the sport.
The opening round will consist of four stages totalling almost 200 kilometres of off-road racing over two days.
The Amiran Simba Rally Raid will be based out of Ranch House Bistro on Moi South Lake Road where scrutineering and documentation will be conducted before the action moves to Kedong Ranch for two stages on Saturday afternoon.
A cocktail party for the new title sponsors, Amiran Kenya, will follow at Ranch House on Saturday evening. Action begins early on Sunday will two 65 kilometre stages back on Kedong Ranch with the finish anticipated to be around 12 noon.
Amongst the leading entries are reigning champions Ross Field and Quentin Savage in their mighty Century Racing CRT.
At least four of these powerful South African built buggies are expected to race this weekend with another three joining the championship during the year.
Multiple motorsport champion Ian Duncan will be fighting for the modified category honours against a trio of Naivasha based entrants, Joost Zurbier (Tomcat Tornado), Alisdair Keith (Landrover Hybrid) and Chui Safari Lodge managers Geoff Mayes and Suzanne Zwager in their Maxxis Kenya Tomcat.
Amongst the new entrants are paraplegic Sam Jethwa, who will be the first disabled sportsman to drive in the Rally Raid series since its inception more than 12 years ago.
Sam has built his own Subaru powered buggy and has set his targets on a finish for the opening event.
The 2019 season also sees a number of female competitors, including podium finisher Suzanne Zwager, Roos Zurbier, Lynda Hughes and Syanna Jessop, who was also the youngest competitor in 2018. New for 2019 is a clubman category for newcomers to the sport.
This category has attracted no less than five new bikers and more are expected to confirm before the racing commences.