NAIROBI, Kenya, April 8 – After a stellar performance at the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) Equator Rally Kenya last weekend, where he beat everyone and everyone, Karan Patel now has his eyes fixed on the upcoming Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally directed 6.-8. May.
The round in Uganda is counted towards the third round of the FIA ARC 2022, after the Bandama Rally in February and the Equator Rally in Kenya.
Karan will be chasing a rare double on the continental scene and the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC), which he is currently leading after the first three rounds at Il-Bisil, Mogotio and Naivasha.
Karan was incredibly quick around the Naivasha site, where he won four of eight stages in an event that also served as a practice run for the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally in June.
“We want to complete all rounds of the ARC. We will also participate in all rallies in Kenya,” announced Karan after collecting maximum points in his first ARC outing this year on home soil.
Karan missed the opening round in Ivory Coast, where current leader Leroy Gomes scored maximum points.
The Kenyan is now 24 points behind Zambian Gomes, who openly admitted Karan is in a class of his own in an interview in Naivasha.
“If you look at the points we need in the ARC leaderboard, we need to complete all the remaining events,” Karan added.
Last year Karan attended three ARC events in Kenya (where he retired), Rwanda and Tanzania. He finished fourth at the 2021 Africa Championships with 48 points after twice settling for first second in both the ARC Oryx Energies Rally of Tanzania and the ARC Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally.
Karan will renew his rivalry with the Zambian speedster at the Pearl event alongside the large group of drivers drawn from the host country. Overall, The Pearl is the African series’ biggest crowd puller.
It will be Karan’s first appearance at the event and he’s cautious about his expectations.
“Let’s cross the bridge when we get there,” he told Hapa Sport
Karan’s preparations for Uganda are now well advanced.
Here’s what he wrote on his official Facebook page (Karan Patel Racing): “We are honored by our recent victory at the Equator Rally and we owe it to my parents, my team and my supporters. Cheers to (his Ford Fiesta Rally2) is already being prepared at full speed for the Pearl of Africa event in May.”
-ARC STANDING 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