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Coastweek -- TOP CAR - Veronica Wroe’s 1934 Rolls Royce Boatail [left] took home the prize for the best car in the Concours. She won by the narrow margin of one point from Sati Gata-Aura’s 1947 MG TC sports car. ELEGANT MERCEDES - Sachit Shah’s 1959 Mercedes Benz 300D [right] was declared the most elegant car in the Concours. He also finished second in the big touring car class and registered a top ten finish.

Car And Motorcycle Competitors Raised the Bar for
Mechanical Preparation at the Concours D’elegance

Coastweek -- Car and motorcycle competitors raised the bar for standards of preparation of their machines for the 2018 CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance which is the classiest event on the Kenya motor sport calendar.

Realizing that much more work had been carried out by competitors since last year’s event officials were briefed by Chris Eden, the Chief Car Judge and Robert Gow his motorcycle counterpart to mark very critically.

As a result there were close finishes in the overall results in the top ten cars and motorcycles and the majority of the positions in the 23 classes.

Several thousand spectators attended the 48th annual Concours organized by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club to enable competitors to share their treasured machines with fellow motoring enthusiasts and try to win prizes.

They were amazed and impressed by highly polished external finishes, immaculate interiors and gleaming engines.

Competitors from outside Kenya made their mark and took home prizes earned in their classes. Under the sponsorship of the Galleria shopping mall Vivian Mathew Kuiper and Martin Kaiser represented the Vintage Motorcycle Club of South Africa.

Vivian won the up to 1200cc street bike class with his 1970 Honda. Martin’s 1964 AJS Café Racer was placed third overall and second in the racing bikes class only four points adrift from Peter Giraudo who captured the top motorcycle award.

Once again the Uganda Bikers Association (UBA) riders dominated the Trail and Enduro classes.

Moses Lubega was the winner of the category for bikes made after 2010 having ridden his 2015 Honda from Kampala. Gianfranco Masetto, the UBA Vice Chairman carried away the prize for older machines with his Honda made in 2000.

The overall winner for cars was Veronica Wroe with her bright yellow 1934 Rolls Royce Boatail who beat Sati Gata-Aura’s 1947 MG TC sports car by the narrowest possible margin of only one point. Sati had a good share of the honours by taking second place with the diminutive green 1947 MG TC and capturing third with his Nissan 160J which was made in 1977.

Newcomers and competitors who made their debut last year shook some of the long standing entrants. Neyan Kavia’s 1971 MGB captured the award for the 1800cc touring car class ending a long series of wins by Tor Allan who was content with the runner-up slot in his 1966 Peugeot 404.

Neyan also won the class for open sports cars made after 1970 with his MGB Roadstar relegating Savi Bhogal’s Alfa Romeo Spider to second spot.

Gayling May who has dominated the up to 3000cc touring car category in his 1967 Alfa Romeo Sprint had a shock by finishing with only a one point cushion between his beautiful burgundy coloured Alfa sports coupe from Sachit Shah who was competing for the first time with a superbly restored 1959 Mercedes Benz 300D.

Sachit Shah was also delighted that his Mercedes was chosen as the most elegant car.

During a day of brilliant sunshine the lead for both cars and motorcycles changed dramatically.

Shortly after Harry Thuku drove his 1979 Land Rover on the Total Excellium Ramp to be the first car to be judged by the highly experienced Concours team, the early leader for cars was the 1972 Austin Mini of Vitafoam Products Limited with an impressive total of 258 points.

This was exceeded by a score of 269 points achieved by Sati Gata-Aura’s 1977 Nissan 160J.

Sati’s total remained at the top of the results table until later his leading score was equaled by his 1947 MG TC in the class for open sports cars.

Late in the day Sati’s hopes for top place on the podium were dashed by Veronica Wroe’s Rolls Royce Boatail in the class for cars made before 1940 putting her immaculate and unusual Rolls Royce in top place by a one point margin.

Making a return to the Nairobi Racecourse after a lengthy absence Simon Christy rode his 1976 Honda CB400F around the judging ring to earn 166 points and became the early pacesetter for motorcycles.

He remained at the top of the table until the judging of the competition motorcycles which gave Peter Giraudo a lead with 175 points for his 1966 Triumph TR 6C made in 1966.

Examples of this machine were very popular for long distance racing in the desserts of the United States.

Giraudo’s competition motorcycle class win ended up being the best for bikes giving him overall victory from Dominique Antoine’s vintage Triumph 550 SD made in 1925 which was the best pre-1960 machine.

Dominique was pleased with this result which gave him the runner-up prize for bikes.

An impressive number of competitors wore costumes giving them the opportunity to win prizes donated by The Wine Gallery and the Victor Ludorum award.

The winner of this prestigious prize is decided by combining the points earned by the car or motorcycle in the Concours with scores for costumes.

The car costume winner went to the Vitafoam Mini with the passenger Sheema Shah acting as Aladdin’s girlfriend.

She had a magic carpet and wore a striking sky blue long dress with riding boots to link with horse racing.

The best bike costume award was won by Tumaini Muthiga who used his giant Harley Davidson to illustrate the modern Kenyan biking cowboy.

The Chief Costume Judge, Joseph Karamoja drew crowds to the Racecourse grandstands to enjoy the sight of the colourful costumes which were made by creative competitors, their partners, wives and families.

Immediately after judging had finished there was a grand parade of all the Concours cars and motorcycles which brought the spectators in the grandstands to their feet amid loud cheering.

At the prize giving ceremony Kevit Desai, the Patron of the CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance, spoke briefly about the attractions and strengths of the Concours and the links with technical and vocational education and training which helps unemployed youngsters to become artisans and craftsmen.

In due course some of whom will help competitors with their preparations.

John Okulo the General Manager for Corporate Banking of CBA presented the awards to the podium prize winners who were saluted by a pyro technic firework display.

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