Onkar Rai back charged
Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) table leader Onkar Rai returns to the Safari Rally having forgotten the unfortunate accident which left his co-driver Gareth Dawe seriously injured when in a second position last year.
Rai was within his reach and challenging Carl Tundo for victory in last year’s Safari Rally edition.
Team Kabras drivers crew are working around the clock to set the Skoda into proper shape after it received heavy mechanical problems during the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) Zambia Rally two weeks ago.
“Preparations have been a little difficult as our car arrived from Zambia last week, but the good thing is that Dawe is fully recovered and ready for his duties,” The Kabras Team drover stated.
The duo will put the Skoda through its paces this weekend in proper testing. “The mechanics have been going through the cars and we plan for a small shakedown this weekend,” he said.
Rai doesn’t feel any pressure in the Safari when asked about the opposition. “I am certainly not under pressure,” he said, adding, “I would really love to win my first title.”
Obviously there will be some sort of “sibling rivalry,” within the larger Kabras team members that include, defending Safari champion Carl Tundo in a Mitsubishi EVO X, former champion Baldev Chager, Eric Bengi who was fifth last year in another Mitsubishi EVO X and family member Tejveer Rai in Evox.
He will be exploring the known as this year’s Safari Rally route has new sections. None the less, “There are new sections which we have all not done before and this is exciting as it will be the same playing field for all,” he added.
Besides team mates, Rai will be racing against top drivers from Uganda including Ronald Ssebuguzi, Kephar Walubi, Christakis Fitidis, Dr. Nsereko Godfrey , Duncan Mubiru aka Kikankane and Abdul Kateete.
Other crews including R5s of Africa champion Manvir Baryan and Zambian ace Leroy Gomes in a Ford Fiesta will give the Onkar Rai a run for his money.
“I am racing in one of the three R5s though the other two R5 are fierce competitors. I am looking forward to racing both of them though there are other threats from my team mates Baldev Chager and Carl Tundo.” He said.