Friday, 26 February 2016

It's Official

Yesterday was a good day, that is if you never grew out of the infantile love for fast, loud and brightly coloured cars.

Issa Amwari is officially under Menengai Oil Racing. To help you understand how big of a deal this is: We were hosted by Phineas Kimathi at Valencia Gardens, the MD Menegai oil- Onkar Rai was in attendance, Baldev Charger and his Kabras-branded team, Kigo Kareithi who’s the newly elected Vice-chair of the KRDA (Kenya Rally Drivers Association) and a whole lot of beauties. Issa 's chosen navigator, Edward Njoroge was also there- quite a 'culture shock' it's going to be for him as well. The learning curve begins.

The realisation that this was really happening clearly hadn’t hit Issa, which was all too evident when it came to his speech. You could really tell that this meant everything to him. He worked so hard this past year to make this happen and finally the last bits of the jigsaw were coming this together.

His gratitude to Onkar was so heartfelt everyone had to laugh to keep from looking awkward. It is not common in any form of motorsport for a competitor to come to the aid of another’s. What Onkar did was a big sign of what can be achieved when we

are one. This is a difficult sport and it is bloody expensive, frankly anyone in it has some degree of madness. It is that madness that keeps us together and it is that madness that will drive us to Kajiado this weekend to watch and do what we love.
 From Issa Amwari Rallying, we wish all competitors the best. For the Fans, drive safe, don’t drink and drive. We do this for you and it’s no use if in the process we lose you.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Issa is Back

A bit of history
In 1982, Kenya got a son. Of course many sons were born that year and to many mothers and fathers no less.
This particular son was however born with a condition, a destiny that he had no say to. It wasn’t of his choosing nor did it manifest itself into later in his life. The condition did give sporadic signs of its presence but it wasn’t until his mid twenties that it burst open.
The itch on the once young boy , now a man had been satisfied and the father – Nkubu Amwari is reputably proud. And why not.
Nkubu Amwari was rallying in the late eighties and early nineties in a turbocharged  Subaru Leone. By then, the boy who he had named Issa Amwari could only follow his dad to rally events. His small heart beating in tune to the bubble of the forced flat-four responding to his idol's insistent right foot.
“One day. One day” That was the idea in young Issa's mind. One day he would tear the African Savannah, the forests and the Taita Hills.

Let's get started
In 2010, Issa Amwari started his journey into his lifelong dream to compete in and win the Kenya National Rally Championship. Fielding in a GF8 Subaru Impeza, he sure as hell wasn’t aimed at the top step. In his mind though, he knew the journey would be long.
Family bank was behind him as he launched into the stages of the KCB sponsored 2010 Safari Rally. Between getting used to rallying and thinking whether he had what it takes, Issa finished ninth in Group S. Quite a number of positions off the podium but his question was at least answered. He had what it takes.
Three years getting the hand of rallying and Issa came of age. In 2013 Issa was in a Silver spread Hardwares owned Mitsubishi Evolution IX. He was much quicker. Regularly in the top ten. By 2014 he was exchanging stage times with the top guys and then as fate would have it, things went a bit south. That left Issa without a drive for 2015.

What next?
Now he’s back in 2016 ready for Round 1 and that with the best car for an onslaught on the Kenyan stages. Which car?
Show up at San Valencia Riara and you’ll find out. That’s on 25th Feb(Thursday) @10am

Posted by ISSA AMWARI RALLYING at 09:03

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Dark Continent.
Image result for evo x rallyIt’s strange how Africa is almost always a step behind in everything except dying from some epidemic. Then there’s a worse scenario, one where the world moves further way just when we‘ve caught up.
 When the 2006/7 Subaru started rallying in Kenya, it was a welcome sight and so was the Evo IX. The reason was that the previous generation STI had been the same since 2003. The new looks were soon demolished when the 2008 STI and Evo showed up on our screens. Then our cars suddenly seemed old.
Soon enough, the Horseys brought in an X and the STIs flooded in, we loved the new look and would argue who’d seen which, when. They were in Group N spec. the world had just moved to R4 and no sooner had we set the Ns as wallpaper than they were a step back.
Image result for carl tundo proton
Tundo's Proton
Baldev Charger upgraded to R4 as did a few other drivers, by then the world was more interested in acquiring super 2000 which though crazy expensive were performing extremely well. Conrad Rautenbach gave the Kenyan rally scene the first taste of s2000, we loved it even with his set up issues.
The R4 has since become popular until the Protons Satria Neo S2000 of Carl Tundo and Alastair Cavenagh became the talk in 2013.
Just before the beginning of 2014, Quentin’s Skoda S2000 was shipped in and performed really well in the Safari. This was the new benchmark.
The R5s would hear none of that as first Manvir Baryan then Rajbir Rai shipped them in. this fired up the RC2 as all these cars could do battle without penalties. A fight it has been as previous champs struggle to make the podium. The presence of Tapio Laukkkanen isn’t helping matters as he seems to win if he doesn’t retire.
Safe to say we’re at par with the world, until 2017 when if the new regulations go through, an R5 will look like a classic. Ok, a little exaggeration on my part but really, at this rate.

So, a clear win for Jari Matti Latvala. 13.7 seconds in an ultra-fast gravel event is quite a fete, that before you look at who came in second. He is now record holder at Ouninpohja and Rally Finland with an average of 125.44 kph. Now he’s all fired up and is confident he can take Ogier down in Germany. That is if the VW stay on the road.
There’s the notion that Ogier’s master drives will pull the chasing park closer to his pace. Like Lee Rose did with the Kenyans- made them look like they were a gear down.
That’s one theory, but in the WRC, this could very well backfire. Latvala is getting closer and closer to Ogier’s pace but what if Ogier has pace in reserve? What if he just has to keep cranking up the boost?
For starters, it’s difficult to judge their difference in Finland. As a specialist event. It’s unclear whether that was a one-off from Latvala. I’m sure most people’s minds went to Argentina 2014. Latvala can be quick, but so was Mikko.
Another reason why we can’t judge performance using Finland is that Latvala had a make or break mentality going into this rally.

 I’ve focused fully on this rally for three weeks. After my disappointment at the last round in Poland, I decided my title hopes had gone and concentrated fully on preparing for Finland. It paid off today,” -Latvala

Remind you of Petter Solberg’s Ouninpohja run in 2004 with Subaru? According to him, the championship was gone. Now he’ll rethink.
Latvala like Mikko could be the driver to prove Ogier’s mettle. A way to avoid history from saying he had no real competition but then, he could be different.
If it goes down like 2009 however, he could be within a shout of taking his championship, he has the same car after all. Problem is, the unpinned grenade at VW- which I think it’s a matter of time before it goes off, could lead to Latvala leaving the team. Whether he goes to Toyota, Hyundai or M-Sport, he may have trouble keeping up with the perfection that is Ogier in his Polo. Yes, HIS Polo. He built that car, it’s like an exoskeleton for him.
My point is, Ogier may not be pulling the pack. There’s a high chance he is matching his pace to the closest challenger.