Varese inches closer to double KNRC glory as homeboy Daykin shines

Sportpesa Racing Team driver Leonardo Varese is on the brink of a rare double championship victory following brilliant displays on Nanyuki Rally.

The five times Two Wheel Drive champion finished the Nanyuki Rally Group (NRG) organized round in a credible 9th position to move up to third overall on the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) log.

The top 10 position also handed him victory in KNRC Division 3 and the Two Wheel Drive (2WD) categories.

Varese who partnered up with Kigo Kareithi in a Toyota Auris 2WD boosted his double championship title hopes with a dominant Two Wheel victory where he beat Daren Miranda by a massive 9.12.2 minutes margin.

In Nanyuki, Varese savoured his run of decent form to chalk up win number two in both the Two Wheel Drive and Division 3.

Varese never expected to move up from 4th to 3rd in the main KNRC class given his Two Wheel Drive status. 

He arrived in Nanyuki with hopes that any points from one of the championship’s best fixtures would be a bonus.  

But the Varese’s ‘bring it home’ mindset paid dividends when Raaji Singh Bharij and Hamza Anwar were disqualified, hence a top 10 position. 

Varese is seeking to repeat his unprecedented double championship feat of 2017 when he won both the KNRC Division 2 and  2WD titles.

Should he seal both titles (Division 3 and 2WD) this season, he’ll only be left with the Division 1 hurdle to clear. 

“We are happy to win both the 2WD and Division 3 categories in. Nanyuki. Nanyuki is our favourite rally on the  calendar.”

“So to rack up maximum points in two championships with an underpowered Auris and for the fourth time in the season to get our 1600cc 2WD machine in the top 10 out of 21 starters is an amazing, feat.”

“I wish to thank my service crew and the whole team as well as our sponsors Sportpesa. And indeed my navigator Kigo with whom we have sat in more than 60 Kenya National Rally events together for doing a great job on the notes.”

Varese noted that he’ll soon kickstart preparations for KNRC 7 in Mombasa on the weekend of October 15-16.

“After a high altitude experience in Laikipia County, we are now looking forward to the Mombasa Motor Club round at sea level to see if we can get a few more points to finally take our 6th Kenya National title in 2WD as well as Division 3 and complete an amazing season,” said Varese.

A total four cars started the two Wheel Drive category in Nanyuki with Daren Miranda (10th overall) finishing second in Class while Rio Smith and Sameer Nanji retired.

Meanwhile, former Lee Rose navigator Piers Daykin was among the star attractions in his home event in Nanyuki. Daykin powered his Datsun 280Z to third overall position to win the classic category.

Carl Tundo in 4th overall position finished second in the classic category behind the wheel of a Triumph TR7 as Ian Duncan (5th overall) settled for third in class.

Karan Patel was awarded overall victory in Nanyuki following Bharij’s disqualification.

Bharij was excluded for failing to report at Control 6B at the end of the rally in breach of article 24.2 of National Competition rules of Kenya Motor Sport Federation (KMSF) whereby the verdict is disqualification.



1.Leo Varese 84

2. Rio Smith 30

3. Darren Miranda 24


1 Leo Varese  132

2 Zameer Verjee 60

3 Rio Smith 30


1. Karan Patel  167

2. Jasmeet Chana 161

3. Leo Varese 60

4. Carl Tundo 58

5. Maxine Wahome 57

6. Kush Patel 54

7. Steve Mwangi 49

8.Jeremiah Wahome 41

9. Ghali Haji 40

10. Zameer Verjee 33

MG Team

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