National rally championship hits Nanyuki for round six

Thursday, August 25th, 2022 08:27 | By
The 2009 Pirelli Star finalist, Raaji Singh Bharij, co-driven by Ravi Soni in a Skoda Fabia during a past test run. PD/Edwin Otieno

Long-time co-driver to Baldev Chager, Ravi Soni, will be among the star attractions on the race weekend of September 2 and 3 when the sixth round of the White Cap-sponsored Kenya National Rally Championship heads to Ole-Naishu and Greystones.

Ravi joins the Minti Motorsport outfit to sit alongside 2009 Pirelli Star finalist, Raaji Singh Bharij, in a Skoda Fabia Rally2, the newest race machine in town.

Jasneil Singh Ghataure, who has navigated Raaji in previous KNRC rallies, will be the team manager in a move that has ensured the team is running at its absolute best.

Kericho Gold Tea will support the team in their quest for the Nanyuki Rally Group (NRG) organised round.

Asked how it feels to partner up with the new driver in a new car and indeed a new team (Minti), Ravi responded: “I was expecting it to be difficult to understand a new driver in a new car, but after one test, it looks like it will be a smoother transition than expected. Raaji is an excellent driver and makes great pace notes.  The team has been very welcoming and their vision and purpose is something I am fully aligned with.”

Prompted to explain if he feels rusty after a long break from the sport, Ravi went on: “For sure I thought it would take a lot more time to get used to rallying again after a 9-month sabbatical, but it was like riding a bike.....felt like I had been in a rally car all through!!”

Ravi is confident about a podium position in Nanyuki after his first test drive with Bharij.

Short test

“I am very happy with how the test went and how we clicked on a short test. A great test with a young motivated team who are well organised and eager to achieve the best results and limits.”

 “I love Nanyuki; definitely the best rally in the KNRC calendar for me. I have done many rallies there and love the nature of the roads there.

It’s proper Kenyan rallying and I look forward to it,” Ravi said.

Ravi’s first career victory came in 2013 during the KCB Kajiado Rally where he guided Baldev Chager to a memorable win in a Subaru Impreza N14.

“Boldy Chager hadn’t won for a KNRC for four years nor had a Subaru until that occasion of the Kajiado Rally. We went on to win the championship in 2013 and 2014,” Ravi recalled about the glory days. The 2022 KNRC series has been to Il-Bisil, Nakuru, Eldoret and Naivasha for the ARC Equator Rally and WRC Safari Rally. Current leader Karan Patel has four wins under his belt with Carl Tundo winning the KNRC Safari Category. The KNRC6 Nanyuki Rally will start and end at Greystones which is also the venue for the Service Park and Rally Headquarters.

Scrutineering and reconnaissance shall take place on September 2 paving the way for action on September 3.

Three stages (Mlima Hema, Ole-Naishu and Greystones) will be repeated twice for a total competitive mileage of 153.04km and liaison distance of 62.16km.

Clerk of the Course Bimal Patel says the designated spectator viewing point will be centred on Greystones. The repeat run of Greystones will indeed serve as the event’s Power Stage where the fastest drivers will earn bonus points for the Championship.

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