Nairobi — Reigning Kenyan National Rally Champion Baldev Chager believes local drivers will have a slight advantage over the foreigners in the 2021 WRC Safari Rally set for June 24-27 in Kenya.
Chager says given Kenyans experience in the local terrain, the foreign drivers will not have it easy in the competition.
With his Kabras team, Chager says they are fully prepared and ready for the grueling event making a return in the World Rally Championships for the first time in 19 years.
Chager, Tajveer Rai and Onka Rai, form the Kabras sponsored team that will be carrying the Kenyan flag in the championships alongside veteran Ian Duncan and Carl Tundo and Menengai Oil sponsored Eric Bengi.
The Kenyan drivers will test their wheels against some of the best drivers in the world among them French World rally champion Sebastian Ogier who leads the Toyota Gazoo team alongside Welshman Elfyin Evans, Kalle Rovanpera and compatriot Jonne Halttunen.
Then there is also the Hyundai team comprising of Estonian Tanak, who was the 2019 world champion, Belgian speedster Thierry Neuvillle and Dani Sordo of Spain.
Unmoved, the Kenyans know their way around the tough terrain but they will be having a few lessons to learn too from the world beaters.
“It’s exciting and we cannot wait. Safari Rally has always been the world’s toughest event in the rally calendar and we are ready to challenge the best in the world,” Chager charged.
Chager, Ian Duncan and Tundo are the only ones to have tasted global status back in the day before Kenya lost the status in 2002.
“That experience is very important for us. None of the foreign drivers coming know what it takes to navigate through the Safari. This makes it even more exciting for all of us as Kenyans and the foreign teams,” Chager added.Drivers like the Rai siblings Tajveer and Onkar have also gained experience over the years and it will be interesting to see how they perform in the Safari Rally.
While it has been a tough 18 months occasioned by the COVID-19 restrictions across the country which meant sporting activities were suspended, the Equator Rally last month gave the drivers a taste of what to expect in the Safari Rally.
Five-time Safari Rally winner Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo navigated by Tim Jessop won the Equator rally with Tanveer Rai finishing second. Others Kenyans among the top finishers were Hamza Anwar at position five followed at sixth by Onkar Rai and Jasmeet Chana was seventh.
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202105210675.html
Author : Capital FM
Publish date : 2021-05-21 12:57:59