Riyaz Ismail is set to shine as he prepares to participate in the Mini Classic Rally which revs off Sunday morning at the Waterfront Mall in Karen, Nairobi.
Thirty-three year old Ismail will be tackling the Classic Rally as navigator to Ramesh Vishram in a Ford Escort MK2.
“It will be my second Mini Classic (I did the Nakuru Classic in 2016) and the main big Safari Classic Rally last year. We finished sixth overall in Nakuru and 22nd in the 2017 EA Classic Safari,” said Ismail, while speaking to Nation Sport.
The event, sponsored by Safaricom 4GB+, is organised by the East African Safari Classic Rally and is the first ever Mini Classic Rally by the outfit, away from the usual 10-day marathon raid rally.
The event has attracted 22 rally cars that were made before 1986. The cars are two-wheel-drive machines with normally aspirated engines. Vehicles such as the Porsche 911, Datsun 1600, Ford Capri and Ford Escort qualify for this unique rally.
Twice winner of the 10-day East African Safari Classic Rally, Ian Duncan will also take part in his Ford Capri with Anthony Nielson as his navigator.
Finland-based Tapio Laukkanen is one of the four foreign entries that include crews from Tanzanian, Oman and England.
Day One action starts at 7am from the Waterfront Mall before cars tackle three competitive stages on the outskirts of Kajiado and Corner Baridi.
They will return to the same venue later in the day for the end of the day's action.
The three competitive stages will see cars go through 48.41km around Corner Baridi and Kajiado, Kikurro and Bulls eye’s 48.21km and another circuit around the 44.84km around Kajiado and Corner Baridi.
Day Two action will start on Monday from the Waterfront Mall and finish at the Sarova Woodlands Hotel in Nakuru. The hotel will also host the final day (Tuesday) with the start and finish of the three day competition taking place there.
The timing system, which is one of the most vital aspects of rallying, will be managed by a team from Bulgaria headed by Alexander Kovatchev.
Their technology can detect the times of the cars as soon as they hit a time barrier at the end of the stages. Drivers are required to have special transponders in their rally cars in order for the system to work accordingly.
Raju Chagger, a well-known local competitor, will be the Clerk of the Course with Alfir Khan deputising him.