Neel Gohil’s participation in this Sunday’s KNRC 8 Guru Nanak Rally forms part of a long-term plan, with the Nairobi hotshot eyeing a switch to motor rallying in the foreseeable future.
Neel will partake in the 2WD category with Mudasir Chaudry navigating and guiding him in the event aboard his championship-winning Toyota Vitz two-wheel drive car.
Neel has already won the Two Wheel Drive Non-Turbo-Buggy and Two Wheel Drive Non- Turbo-Car classes in the National Autocross Championship and is looking to get the hang of motor rallying in a competitive national rally set-up.
But the 15-year-old, who is only in his third full year of racing, is already eyeing his next move; sealing his third championship in the RX Championship in Machakos.
“This year we are planning to clinch the hat-trick and also get enough seat time for my Subaru project that’s currently being built,” Neel said.
“After Guru Nanak Rally we will go to Kasarani for the RX , and fight for the Two Wheel Drive title with other leading drivers in class. We are also thinking about rallying in future and being in the Guru Nanak clubman event gives me the much needed experience and seat time,” he added.
Neel-son of retired driver Sushil Gohil -says Guru will present a good learning experience as he too had his inaugural rally with Guru Nanak 14 years ago.
He said: “There’s no pressure making my debut in the event, it’s just about learning the rally set up and looking where we are. We have the same autocross car, so it’s good to compare the times with other competitors in class.”
This year’s Guru Nanak Rally will count as the eighth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship
The event will feature a clubman category where greenhorn entrants will savour an opportunity to hone their skills in a proper rally set-up.
According to Clerk of the Course Qahir Rahim, the Clubman (which is basically a training rally) will be run in compliance with the FIA International Sporting Code, its appendices, the KMSF National Sporting Regulations and the National Rally Sport Regulations which comply with the FIA regulations and these Clubman Regulations.
The total Competitive distance for the Clubman rally is 69.48 km with a transport road section of 16.16 km and a total distance of 85.64 km. The main class will feature a competitive mileage of 160.11km and a liaison distance of 32.8km.
The fabled rally, which is one of the oldest on the calendar, gets underway from the Service Park in Elementeita.
A total of three stages will be repeated to make up scintillating seven speed tests of which Soysambu and Sleeping Warrior will be repeated twice and Mbweha thrice.
The third run of Mbweha stage (the last stage on the itinerary) will serve at the Power Stage where three fastest drivers will be awarded bonus points on the KNRC points table.