Nairobi, Kenya, June 27 2019–Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) leader Onkar Rai returns to the Safari Rally having forgotten the unfortunate accident which left his co driver Gareth Dawe seriously injured when a second position was within his reach and challenging Carl Tundo for victory in last year’s Safari Rally.
Dawe is fully recovered ready for navigational duties while Rai said yesterday that he is under no pressure as his focus is to see the Skoda Fabia R5 is mechanically sound ready for action next weekend.
Team Kabras drivers crew are working around the clock to set the Skoda into proper shape after it received heavy punishment during the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) Zambia Rally two weeks ago.
“Preparations have been a little difficult as the Kabras Team cars only arrived back from Zambia last week,” said Nakuru-based Rai who finished third in Zambia in his ARC debut outside Kenya.
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_ 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 (Mitsubishi EVO X).
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 two other R5s of Africa champion Manvir Baryan and Zambian ace Leroy Gomes in a Ford Fiesta. “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.