17 teams battle it out to win a trip to the 2019 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


The second leg of Johnnie Walker GP Karting Championship started today at The Great Rift Valley (TGRV) Circuit in Mai Mahiu. Seventeen teams battled out for a chance to watch the Formula 1 race in Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi 2019 live.

Sam Karangatha of Team Sim-U-Nation topped the races after recording best time of 1.11.438, while his closest challenger was Edward Ndukui of Mt Kenya Sports Club with 1.11.999. This is the second-best time to be recorded at TGRV Circuit since the opening of the circuit last year. The teams had to complete six laps in a 10 minutes length circuit tucked in archipelago of Rift Valley.

Commenting about the race, Sam Karangatha said that he was happy with his outcome. “Last weekend, I didn’t perform very well. I did a time of 1.30.222, but this weekend I was determined to push the limit,” he said.

Johnnie Walker GP Karting Championship aims to provide amateur racers and racing enthusiasts with an opportunity to see how the professional side of karting functions. But the main idea is for participants have a competitive, but fun, on-track experience.

The competition comes at a time when a number of Kenyans are looking forward to joining professional Formula 4 & 3 respectively. Some of them are Jeremy Wahome and Tejas Hirani who are both in Europe studying the sports.

According to TGRV CEO Raj Dadhley, although the appetite and uptake of Go Kart is on all-time high, the barrier to penetrate into the global scene is cost. “The cost of this sport is exorbitant. To solve this, we are working on investing in world class Go-Kart circuit locally, with hope of getting global sponsors to support, potential racers,” Mr. Dadhley said.

The finals for championship will take place on 2nd November 2019 at Whistling Moran in Athi River, Machakos County.

In April 2019, KBL through its Johnnie Walker Brand, treated eight customers to a fully paid trip to watch the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Eric Muthee, Joy Muthee, Wanjiru Gichohi, Charles Kamau, Esther Njoroge, Uki Mariuki, Lydia Wamuyu and Patrick Thuo got an opportunity to watch the live F1 race. The eight winners were part of the Experience Formula 1 with Johnnie Walker Consumer Promotion that ended in February 2019.

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