ARUSHA’S Gerald Miller overcame young drivers challenge to win Kobil Rally, the first round of the National Rally Championship held yesterday in Moshi municipality.
The season opener was dominated by Arusha drivers as the region claimed four of the six top prizes of the event.
The runner-up position went to Gurpal Sandhu also from Arusha while Dharam Pandya who finished third, was the best placed Dar es Salaam driver in the race.
Besides providing the winner, Arusha also produced the runner-up Gurpal Sandhu, who finished ahead of the 2015 champion, Dharam Pandya. Only six cars managed to finish the tough race. Arusha continued to dominate the podium after Jayant Shah claimed the fourth position ahead of Iringa-based Ahmed Huwel.
Arusha’s Preetam Gundamal claimed the sixth position.
“It is one of a sweetest rally victories. It was hard work and at times stressful, but the service crew did a fantastic job,” said Miller who also won the Guru Nanak Rally of Arusha last season.
Miller who was navigated by Peter Fox clocked 1 hour, 33 minutes and 50 seconds to beat his Arusha compatriot Gurpal Sandhu by 8 minutes. Sandhu who was navigated by Sinder Suddle, spent 1 hour, 42 minutes and 51 seconds en route.
Under the navigation of Awadh Bafadhil in Mitsubishi Evo 9, Pandya finished the rally in 1 hour, 48 minutes and 47 seconds. 13 cars started the race yesterday morning and only 6 of them managed to finish. The 2016’s driver of the year, Jamil Khan, was unlucky to end pre-maturely due to engine problem.
Others who failed to make it included Davis Mosha who has made a comeback after long absence. Iringa is the venue of the second round of the National Rally Championship to be held in April this year.