Biter sweet podium for Mitchell 24 year old Kenyan rally driver Quentin Mitchell and his Welsh co-driver Chris Davies drove a very impressive rally on their international debut to take a podium position in their Subaru Impreza N16 rally ...
Biter sweet podium for Mitchell
24 year old Kenyan rally driver Quentin Mitchell and his Welsh co-driver Chris Davies drove a very impressive rally on their international debut to take a podium position in their Subaru Impreza N16 rally car.
Mitchell had travelled across the African continent to contest the Toyota Zimbabwe Challenge Rally as the young Opera Singer had been selected to represent Kenya in the Pirelli Star Driver shootout. Quentin was well aware of the handicap he was faced with as he had not contested a rally since the end of 2009, the car was completely new to him, he had never even met his co-driver until the day before the rally and less than four weeks previously Quentin had been rushed to hospital with appendicitis!
Regardless of these handicaps Quentin had faith in the team of people that were helping him. Consistently inside the top ten on this, an event which he had never contested before, and trading times with his two rivals, both of whom had prior experience of the rally. The only drama for Mitchell and Davies was when their Subaru ingested dust into the radiator on Saturday afternoon and they were forced to slow for the final loop of stages. Despite this the pair ended the day fifth overall and as the top juniors.
Sundays eight high speed tests would suit the Tarpo, Recycle Africa, AccessKenya, Freem, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Insurance, Fuchs Lubricants and Jungle Oats supported pairing and they immediately began to push hard, culminating in Quentin taking his first ever outright stage victory! Such was their pace that the young duo ended the rally a mightily impressive third overall and behind only two African Rally Champions!
The joys of such a magnificent result were soon tempered when it was announced that his two rivals, Chase Attwell and Mohammed Essa, had been nominated to represent Africa in the Pirelli Star Driver shootout! This was despite the fact that neither crew had finished the event! I am a little disappointed not to have had been selected to represent Africa but I wish both Chase and Mohammed all the best and hope they do us all proud!
My own rally has been fantastic and I cannot express my thanks to everyone who has made this possible. The support that I have received all over the world is nothing short of incredible! To finish third overall is fantastic and this whole experience has been unforgettable. I am more determined than ever to be successful as a rally driver now!
By finishing third overall Quentin has set a new best result for the new shape Subaru Impreza in Africa and is also the highest finishing Kenyan in Zimbabwe in almost twenty years! Whilst his plans for the rest of 2010 are undecided Quentin has proved without a doubt that he is one of Africa's fastest rally drivers!