Karan Patel is the Motorsports Personality of the Year for 2022 for his major role in the Kenya National Rally Championship and the African Rally Championship series.
Patel won the KNRC title and came within winning ARC Crown which was claimed by Leroy Gomes of Zambia.
“I am lost for words. This is a very special trophy in my life. I learned never to give up until the last minute of your competition. I thank my parents for supporting me all the way,” Patel told the audience.
Patel was selected by a panel of judges which was appointed by Kimathi for the 2022 prize-giving ceremony.
The post was deliberated by a committee appointed by Kimathi, the KMSF Chairman prior to the major function. The team was given two weeks to nominate the right person for the Motorsport Personality of the Year award.
The Members of the Committee included Surinder Thatthi (Chairman), Anne Troughton, Faith Wathome, Tuta Mionki and Mwaura Njuguna.
The Kenya Motor Sports Federation, which runs all types of motorsports activities in Kenya, held a colourful prize-giving ceremony on Saturday evening at its headquarters at the Kasarani Stadium.
The occasion, which was headed by the KMSF Chairman, Phineas Kimathi, was graced by among others major rally drivers, officials from the KMSF Board and members of the press among others.
“This is the first real function after Covid messed with us for a long time. We just wish the 2023 season proves that motorsport is lively and back in action. Tonight’s function is special for everyone,” Kimathi told Nation Sport.
Kimathi said he was happy for Kenya and rally fans across the nation for bringing Safari Rally back into the 2023 World Rally Championship. He said Kenya is ranked among the top-five countries across the World in the WRC series.
The Safari Rally, which is one of the biggest events in the 2023 FIA Rally Championship, will be held this year in June on the KWS circuits in Naivasha.
Ababu Namwamba, the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts, sent apologies for failing to attend the function for his first ever motorsports activity since he was appointed by President William Ruto.
The 2023 Kenya National Rally Championship season will kick off with the Rallye Sports Club event to be held next weekend.
Prior to that Kenya will feature strongly in the 2023 African Rally Championship calendar with the Equator Rally to be held in March. The event will move away from Naivasha and will instead be held at the Taita Hills around Voi.
Among the recepients of the current awards was Karan Patel, who was navigated by Tauseef Khan. The crew clinched the 2022 Overall Kenya National Rally Championship title. The crew, which finished a close second in the 2022 African Rally Championship, also clinched the Division One Crown in the KNRC series.
Anwar Sidi was awarded a Special Award for his continuation as one of the leading Motorsports Photographers across the nation. The ASN President Special Award 2022 was presented by Kimathi.
Veteran rally drivers, Ross Field and Quentin Savage won the 2023 Kenya National Rally Raid Championship.
Geoff Mayes and Riyaz Ismail clinched Motorcar Class while Zane Young/Chantal Young clinched the Buggy Class as the best female drivers.
The newly introduced Tarmac Championship was won by Mustafa Abbas.
The list of prize winners:
Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan (KNRC Title and Div One), Kush Patel/Mudassar Chaudry (Div Two and Group S), Leonardo Varese/Kigondu Kariethi (Div Three and 2WD) and Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Group N).
2023 National Autocross Championship: Gurtaj Singh (2WD Non-Turbo Buggy), Sameer Nanji ( 2WD Non-Turbo Car), Qahir Rahim (2WD Turbo Buggy), Eric Bengi (4wd Turbo), Rajveer Thetthy (Open Class), Karamveer Roopra (Bambino), Neel Gohil (Junior 2WD Non Turbo) and Earn Bengi (Peewee).
Kenya National Rally Raid Championship: Ross Field/Quentin Savage (Overall Champions Motorcar Class), Geoff Mayes/Riyaz Ismail (Motorcar Classified) and Zane Young/Chantal Young (Buggy).
Karting Championship: Bixenten Rio Wyles (Bambino), Shane Chandaria (Cadet) and Walt Alobo (Rotax Junior Class).
4×4 Championship: Gitau Munene/Wilson Munene (Beginner), Prabjot Saimbi/Abtarjot Saimbi (Intermediate), Gurashish Singh/Kunal Patel (Expert) and Oliver Lauvaux/John Herbert (Super Expert).
Kenya National Tarmac Championship: Mustafa Abbas (2WD), Lu Jin (Best Drifter) and Umang Soni (4wd Class).
FIA Championship: McRae Kimathi/Mwangi Kioni (FIA ARC3), Rio Smith/Riyaz Ismail (FIA ARC4) and Hamza Anwar/Adnan Din (FIA Junior).