NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – After a stellar showing at last weekend’s Africa Rally Championship (ARC) Equator Rally Kenya where he beat all and sundry hands down, Karan Patel now has his eyes firmly set on the forthcoming Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally slated for May 6-8.
The Ugandan round will count towards the third round of the 2022 FIA ARC after February’s Rallye Bandama and Kenya’s Equator Rally.
Karan will be chasing a rare double on the continental scene and the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) which he currently leads after the first three rounds held in Il-Bisil, Mogotio and Naivasha.
Karan was sublimely fast on Naivasha terrain where he won four out of 8 stages in an event which also served as a dry run for June’s World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally.
“We are plaining on doing all the rounds of the ARC. We will also take part in all the rallies in Kenya,” Karan made the announcement after he racked up maximum points on his first ARC outing this year on home soil.
Karan missed out on the opening round in Ivory Coast where current leader Leroy Gomes scored maximum points.
The Kenyan is now 24 points behind Zambian Gomes who candidly admitted in an interview in Naivasha that Karan is in a class of his own.
“If you look at the points that we need on the ARC standings, we have to do all the remaining events,” Karan added.
Last year, Karan competed in three ARC events in Kenya (where he retired), Rwanda and Tanzania. He finished fourth in the 2021 Africa Championship with 48points after twice settling for the first runners up position on both the ARC Oryx Energies Rally of Tanzania and ARC Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally.
Karan will renew his rivalry with the Zambian speedster on the Pearl event alongside the big chunk of drivers who will be drawn from the host country. The Pearl is, by and large, the biggest crowd puller on the African series.
It will be Karan’s debut appearance in the event, and he is cautious about his expectations.
“Let’s cross the bridge when we get there,” he told Hapa Sport
Meanwhile, Karan’s preparations for Uganda are at an advanced stage.
Here’s what he wrote on his official Facebook Page (Karan Patel Racing): “We are humbled by our recent Equator Rally victory and owe it to my parents, team and supporters. Cheers to (his Ford Fiesta Rally2) is already being prepped at full speed in readiness for Pearl of Africa event in May.”
-ARC STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2- EQUATOR RALLY-
1. Leroy Gomes (Zambia) 54 pts
2. Karan Patel (Kenya) 30 pts
3. Jasmeet Chana (Kenya) 21
4. Jeremy Wahome (Kenya) 19
5. Gaincarlo Davite (Rwanda) 17