Hi­rani on podium

Kenyan shows his abil­ity at sea­son clos­ing World RX Lites in Latvia

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - SAM­SON ATEKA @sam­son ateka

Kenyan rac­ing star Te­jas Hi­rani has once again en­tered his name in the an­nals of global rac­ing his­tory by be­ing the first African driver to clinch a podium po­si­tion in the FIA RX Lites World Cham­pi­onship.

Hi­rani, who has won over 50 mo­tor-rac­ing cham­pi­onship races both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, fin­ished third in the last round of the RX Lites World cham­pi­onship be­hind Nor­we­gian JC Race Teknik driver Son­dre Ev­jen and Amer­i­can Con­ner Martell (who rep­re­sented Dirt­fish Mo­tor­sports.

Twelve driv­ers from eight dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties took part in the Lat­vian event. Hi­rani who is a mul­ti­ple Kenyan kart­ing, Rally Raid and Au­tocross for­mer cham­pion rac­ing in Ols­beegs MSE liv­ery re­turned +16.516 sec­onds be­hind the win­ner.

Hi­rani, who is also a For­mula Gulf 1000 for­mer cham­pion and Soya’s past most promis­ing young­ster, be­came the first Kenyan and by ex­ten­sion first African driver to race in the FIA world Rally cross RX Lites Cham­pi­onship in the sea­son opener.

The sched­ule for the Latvia event started with the first qual­i­fy­ing race on Fri­day at 16:00 with Q1, Q2 and Q3 be­ing held on Satur­day as Q4. Both semis and fi­nal took place on Sun­day.

Te­jas fin­ished fifth in Q1, minth in Q2, third in Q3 and ninth in Q4.

He took third in both the semi and fi­nal round.

The 2016 RX Lites Cup – a one­make feeder se­ries to the FIA World Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship pre­sented by Mon­ster En­ergy – con­sisted of seven events plus a stand-alone round in Canada. The seven rounds which make up this year’s cal­en­dar in­cluded Hock­en­heim, Bel­gium, Great Bri­tain, Norway, Swe­den, Barcelona and Latvia. Hock­en­heim and Latvia were new ad­di­tions to the RX Lites sched­ule in 2016.

RX Lites are iden­ti­cal 310bhp, mid-en­gined, four-wheel drive cars de­signed by Ols­bergs MSE and pro­duced in Turkey in co-op­er­a­tion with Avi­tas Motorsport. Fea­tur­ing strictly con­trolled spec ve­hi­cles. The se­ries is de­signed to pro­vide an af­ford­able plat­form to show­case the tal­ent of emerg­ing young driv­ers.

/ENOS TECHE

Te­jas Hi­rani (R) racks up maiden ca­reer podium in sea­son clos­ing World RX Lites in Latvia.

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