Shaz Esmail was in imperious form at the opening round of the KCB Kenya National Autocross Championship 2020 came an end at Jamhuri Park Racetrack in Nairobi.
The Izmir Racing’ driver emerged the winner in the Two Wheel Drive Turbo Class after posting a cumulative total time of 8.03.11minutes. He also savoured two championship bonus points with the Fastest Time of the Day (FTD) in class.
“I am chuffed with the performance. This is indeed my first win in 10 years and couldn’t have come at a better time when I am going flat out for the championship,” Shaz remarked.
Shaz delivered the FTD after clearing the fourth heat in 2.21.70 minutes. He beat youngster and teammate Azaad Manji to second position.
Undaunted by muddy and slippery conditions, Shaz held on to the lead all through with a brilliant drive that would see him set equivalent times to much powerful cars in the 4WD Turbo category.
Defending Champion Zameer Verjee started off his defence on a high note, setting the fastest overall time of the day in the fourth heat which he returned in a time of 2.14.42 minutes. His Rage Buggy was a cut above the rest.
“I had a good run though cautious in the mud. The conditions improved quite a bit when the track dried up and I’m glad I ran fastest in the fourth. I’m settling into the buggy well after only acquiring it last season. I’m back to defend my title this season so I hope all will be well,” said Zameer who beat Rajveer Thethy to second place. Newcomer Zuber Khan came in third followed by Shajad Khan.
Sam Karangatha made a stunning comeback In 2WD Non Turbo Car Class also with a third heat FTD in class.
In the 4WD Turbo, Lovejyot Singh beat 2017 Champion Rehan Shah.
Rehan retuned from a one year sabatical in Sahib Omar’s Championship winning Subaru GC8.
“I am happy with the result after coming from a long sabbatical. I decided to use Sahib’s GC8 as my N10 car had ECU issues. I will be doing the whole season this year and we shall probably be together with my nephew Sahib next year. I will remap my car and race it on the next race.” I felt a bit rusty in practice and first loop. The track was muddy and slippery which took the car everywhere. So it was like fighting with the car. The track dried out in the afternoon session so the conditions improved quite a bit,” Rehan said.
Meanwhile, champion Sahib has announced that he will be sitting out of the Championship this season.
The back to back 4WD Turbo champion and the fastest driver last season will be hoping to come back next season.
“I am taking a break from Autocross due to personal reasons. I will be racing all the four events in the Hill-Climb series which is on the KMSF Calendar this season.”
Sahib was at Jamhuri Park Racetrack Sunday to support his uncle Rehan.
“We want to keep the 4WD Turbo title in Ray Racing so hopefully I can fill the void left behind by Sahib,” Rehan said