Second-generation preteen drivers are among the star attractions at the KCB Kenya National Autocross Championship event which revived off at Nanyuki’s Batian View racetrack in the picturesque Mount Kenya vicinity.
The early morning heat runs for Pee Wee and Bambino Classes showcased a huge dollop of talent that most young aspiring drivers can only dream of.
The “Pee Wee” Class which is the entry level for kid drivers aged below 9 years unlocked some good-humoured rivalry between girl driver Kiana Rajput and Eann Bengi (8years) – incidentally is the newest competitor in the sport at the present.
Aged just 9, Kiana displayed astonishing talent, and is already showing promise for her future in Bambino Class which his 11-year-old brother Yuvraj Rajput (Yuvi) has dominated since 2018. Bambino features kids the under 13 years.
“My aim is to get better with the buggy and also learn the new race circuit challenges like Batian that we’ll be racing in this season,” she said.
Yuvraj is fighting it out with round 6 winner Karamveer Singh Rooprai in the Bambino Class.
“I expect to get first place and try my best to improve on my driving lines, It is my first race in Nanyuki and conditions are looking really great in practice session. I look forward to some great heat times,” said Karamveer..
Kiana, Yuvraj and Eann belong to a successful racing bloodline, with their fathers Kirit Rajput and Eric Bengi proving themselves as truly capable drivers on the rally and Autocross arenas.
That bond between fathers and kids has not only added zest to Autocross circuit racing but also proved instrumental for the preteens benefiting from parental advice, experience, a family name known and respected throughout racing circles.
Newcomer and Round 6 Bambino winner Karanveer Singh Rooprai also displayed some exhilarating displays on his Magi-Bug against Yuvraj.
Senior races also provided blistering pace with 2WD Non-Turbo Class Buggy leader Zameer Verjee beating Ankush Manoj Shah. Both Ankush and Zameer who is also the defending Champion are piloting Rage Buggies. Ankush’s Rage is an ex-Tejas Hirani machine synonyms with Rally Raids and circuit racing.
Sam Karangatha and Rajveer Thethy are tussling for 2WD Non-Turbo Car Class points.
“It’s my second time at Nanyuki Autocross at Batian View. The previous time was back in 2016. It was a fun and enjoyable track to drive. Hoping for clean runs at this event. Championship is tight, between Rajveer and I. I remember in 2016 we also raced together at the same track although he was in the 2WD Junior Class,” said Karangatha.