Elijah Mureithi -
'Formula Two' title WINNER
Gitata (driver) and
Elijah Muriithi in their Daihatsu special.
real exponent of THE Formula
Two game on the 'Flying Finish'
cruel hand of fate has robbed the rallying fraternity
of yet another talent- with it’s infallible talons,
writes SAMSON ATEKA.
Gitata’s former navigator, Dr. Elijah
Mureithi, died in Nairobi
on Thursday morning barely three weeks after
the crack Ugandan the late Riyaz Kurji was
killed in a car crash during the 2009 KCB
Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally on May 2.
demise of the stocky but level-headed
co-driver came too soon, incidentally, after
the reigning KCB KNRC Navigator Champion Farak
Yusuf met his fate in
last month in the wake of rally volunteer
behalf of the Kenya Motor Sports Federation (KMSF)
Board of Trustees, Achie Khan condoled with
the family of the deceased.
was a cardiologist attached to Nairobi
Hospital. But it is painful to all and sundry that he had to
die of an ailment he helped save countless other lives
in his line of duty.
Rightly so, he was prolific heart
surgeon but then as the old adage goes, “the cruel
hand of fate takes those we love most.”
was one of the rising sons of the local game and an
academic achiever known for his graciousness and
calmness - but a real exponent of the Formula Two game
on the ‘Flying Finish as well as the “Double
Cautions! “Triple Cautions !” he relished
while calling notes for Gitata.
and Gitata became famous with the Daihatsu Charade -
better known as the ‘DUDU’ and currently driven by
and Mureithi won the Formula Two title in 2006
and their partnership was considered unique given fact
that the former was an aeronautical engineer and the
deceased a cardiologist.
Martin is a jolly and sometimes clownish, Mureithi was
a quiet guy who always shirked from any controversy.
Two contender Charles Hinga confided having received
the news of the former champion navigator with utmost
was easy going and quiet guy who’s ruddy face
depicted determination and success always.
Gitata [left] and Elijah Mureith
are awarded by Steve Kimani security group
manager after finishing Embu rally.
one point we really interacted quite a lot with Martin
and Mureithi because our cars were all being fixed at
Peter Mburu’s workshop (Comprehensive Workshop on
Likoni Road) and I realized he was a man who always aspired to
take his rallying career to the next level,” said
Hinga, Leamy Karienye and Gitata, Mureithi came
through Peter Mburu’s production line where speed
and grace were real benchmarks.
after an extremely muddy drive, it happened at last on
a muddy afternoon. Gitata and Mureithi put behind
miseries of their annulled win in the 2006 KCB S&L
Rally in Kajiado to claim their first career win in
2006 KCB Guru Nanak Rally, a real mud bath in
the Athi River black cotton soil.
was when the penultimate round of the 2006 2WD series
that ended disastrously for title contenders Rajee
Chager and Jonathan Savage.
retired with clutch failure, which had dogged him in
the last two rounds, while Savage broke a drive-shaft
of his Datsun 240Z and tested his first retirement of
the season which ended his title aspirations as well.
Gitata was only a heartbeat away from the F2 crown
after the muddy Guru Nanak affair while Murethi’s
Championship victory almost went unnoticed at the
Simba Union prize giving.
on his 6th outing- had the 2WD title in the bag with
Gitata having to cool his heels before setting off to
the Coast round.