Karan Patel joins the list of African Rally Champions

The 2023 Africa Rally Championship (ARC) title was secured by the Kenyan rally driver who placed second in the ARC Rally of Tanzania. Karan Patel, the Kenya National Rally Champion for 2022, won his first continental championship by three points against Uganda’s Jas Mangat.

After Zambia’s Leroy Gomes won the championship the previous season, Karan Patel and his navigator Tauseef Khan became the first Kenyan duo to win the title in a Ford. With the win, Patel joins a distinguished group of Kenyan drivers that have won the ARC title, which already includes notable figures like Shekhar Mehta, David Horsey, and Carl Tundo. Patel’s navigator, Tauseef Khan, joined the elite group of Kenyan navigators that includes Mike Doughty, Tim Jessop, Bob Kaugi, and Surinder Thatthi.

In the final ASAS Rally of Tanzania, the dynamic duo’s calculated and well-executed race put them in second position and won them the championship. Throughout the event, Karan Patel exuded confidence and composure, displaying their skill on the Sao Hill Mafinga podium in Iringa.

Patel and Khan won in Rwanda, Kenya (Equator), Burundi, and Zambia during the ARC season. Due to their decision not to participate in the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally and the Bandama Rallye, they had to risk it all in order to win the coveted title that they lost to Zambia’s Gomes in the previous season

With a nine-point lead over Mangat of Uganda when ahead of the Iringa rally in Tanzania, Patel and Khan used a well-thought-out plan to secure their championship. Patel became the 2023 ARC champion thanks to his steady play throughout the season. Along with Patel’s triumph, young Hamza Anwar took first place overall and won the ARC2 category.

The ARC championship’s importance in the rally fraternity was further cemented by the 2023 season, which consisted of seven rounds spread over seven nations. With Kenya’s 2021 return to the FIA World Rally Championship, the ARC is expanding and looking forward to 2024, which promises even more exciting events.

The Pearl of Africa Rally in Uganda is scheduled for May 2024, signaling the start of the 2024 ARC season. Since its inception in 1981, the Africa Rally Championship has continuously provided breathtaking rallying experiences set against breathtaking scenery. Legendary figures including Shekhar Mehta, David Horsey, and Leroy Gomes have won it in the past; Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan now go down in history as the winners of 2023.

The crew of Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan charging through the Hills of Iringa. (Photo Credit: Emil Tibihika)

Past Winners Since 2010.

2010 James Whyte-Zimbabwe/Phil Archenoul-Zimbabwe (Subaru)

2011 Conrad Rautenbach-Zimbabwe/Nicolas Klinger -France (Subaru)

2012 Mohamed Essa-Zambia/Greg Stead -Zimbabwe (Subaru)

2013 Jassy Singh-Zambia/David Sihoka Zambia (Subaru)

2014 Gary Chaynes-Ivory Coast/Romain Comas-Ivory Coast (Mitsubishi)

2015 Jaspreet Singh Chatthe Kenya Craig Thorley-Englan (-Mitsubishi)

2016.   Don Smith-Kenya/Bob Kaugi-Kenya (Subaru)

2017 Manvir Baryan+Kenya/Drew Sturrock-Britain (Škoda)

2018 Manvir Baryan-Kenya /Drew Sturrock-Britain (Škoda)

2019 Manvir Baryan-Kenya/Drew Sturrock-Britain (Škoda)

2020 Cancelled due to Covid19 Pandemic.

2021 Carl “Flash” Tundo-Kenya/Tim Jessop-Kenya (Volkswagen Polo)

2022: Leroy Gomes-Zambia/Urshlla Gomes-Zambia (Ford)

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