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The Iceman revs up for Safari Rally

By Charles Thuku
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
Jasmeet Chana recently fitted an FIA-approved safety fuel tank in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Photo/PD/CHARLES THUKU
In summary

Several local drivers are taking advantage of the break brought by the coronavirus pandemic to conform with 2021 World Rally Championship Safari Rally standards.

One of them is former KNRC Division One S Class and Two Wheel drivers’ Champion Jasmeet Chana,  aka the Iceman, who recently fitted an FIA-approved safety fuel tank.

Jasmeet has already kick-started his preparations and hopes to tackle next year’s WRC Safari Rally alongside his elder brother Ravi Chana in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. The 2021 WRC Safari is slated for June 24-27.

“We have already fitted the new FT3 fuel tank which is recommended by the FIA (World Motor Sport Governing Body).

Basically, the tank comes with various models and is fitted in the boot and not underneath the car.

So we’ve made that adjustment because to do a Safari you have to have it. Standard tanks are hazardous because when you roll or hit something on the road, it starts to leak.

The new tank has safety bladders which keep the car safe in case of an accident.

At the end of the year, the Evo will undergo a proper strip rebuild.”

Paraplegic driver Nikhil Sachania was among the first Kenyan drivers to do so as part of a grant from FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission.

Jasmeet also noted that preparations will be executed in phases.

“The essence is to prepare early and drive competitively on the event next year. I am super excited to be a part of the momentous WRC Safari comeback.

I have driven my 2WD Golf in the second tier IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge) event held in Kenya some few years back and been to the WRC Safari in a different capacity back then.”

Jasmeet makes up the elite group of Kenyan drivers categorised in the KNRC Premier Class.

He is currently lying third in the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship behind leader Baldev Chager and Carl “Flash’ Tundo.

“We’re lying third in the local championship at the present and would like to better it but most probably we would want to fight and maintain it.”

Better known as Iceman in motoring circles, Jasmeet is currently working on an ambitious classic car project at their Nairobi workshop where he is building a similar Datsun HA10 make which his dad (the late Kulwant  Chana) rallied on back in the day.

“The Datsun has undergone a series of performance tests around the Ngong Hills area. Unfortunately, due to pandemic issues, there will be no classic event this year. But we will continue to fine tune the car.”

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