Kenyan rally driver Karan Patel and co-driver Tauseef Khan made motorsport history by winning the FIA Africa Rally Championship at the season-ending ASA Rally of Tanzania.
Patel and Khan negotiated their way to a second-place finish, collecting the championship title while also becoming the first Kenyan duo to accomplish this extraordinary achievement in a Ford.
Karan and Tauseef rose through the ranks to victory in Rwanda, Kenya (Equator), Burundi, and Zambia.
However, the Kenyan duo chose to skip the Bandama Rallye and the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally, forcing them to begin on a catch-up voyage to reclaim the coveted crown that went to Zambian Gomes the previous season.
Behind Patel and Khan’s calm and steady demeanor throughout the season was an undercurrent of enthusiasm that broke into a jubilant stream during the prize-giving event in Sao Hill Mafinga, Iringa.
Patel now joins the illustrious ranks of Kenyan drivers who have won the FIA African Rally Championship, including Shekhar Mehta, David Horsey, Jaspreet Singh Chatthe, Don Smith, Manvir Baryan, and Carl Tundo.
“Winning the FIA African Rally Championship is the realization of a lifelong dream,” Karan Patel said of his historic victory. It is an honor to be listed alongside Kenyan rallying heroes.
The 2023 FIA African Rally Championship season took place across seven countries over a seven-round calendar, demonstrating the rallying community’s resiliency after two tumultuous years marked by disruptions caused by the global health pandemic.
Kenya’s return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2021 has given the ARC fresh life, propelling it to greater heights.
As the dust settles on the 2023 season, the following are the final FIA African Rally Championship standings:
1.Karan Patel (KEN) -144 points.
2.Jas Mangat (UG) -141 points.
3.Yasin Nasser (UG) -110 points.
4.Hamza Anwar (KEN) -63 points.
5.Prince Charles Nyerere (TZ)-55 poi td.
6.Innocent Bwamiki (UG) -55 points.
The Rally Bandana Rally of 2024 will kick off the 2024 ARC season.