NAIROBI, September 3 – Former multiple national rally champion Azar Anwar, has tipped Baldev Chager to win this year’s Kenya National Rally Championship crown.,
With three rounds to spare in Nairobi, Mombasa and Guru Nanak, Chager has a 100 point lead in the championship table and Anwar says that the talented driver is odds on favourite to win his maiden national title.
Chager – better known in the rallying circles as ‘Boldy’, consolidated his position at the table with a breathtaking drive in Nanyuki last month and the veteran driver Anwar has predicted that despite a tough challenge from the rest of the field, he will go all the way.
Conversely, the early season favourite for this year’s title, Lee Rose, has had a torrid time with his hi-tech Mitsubishi Evo 9 suffering two retirements in Mogotio’s KCB Western Union Rally and last weekend’s rally in Nanyuki.
Rose started the season on a high but recent developments have hampered his challenge for the title giving Chager a huge step to a title he has fought for relentlessly since joining the KNRC league in 1998.
“We have had quite a good battle with Boldy over the years but this time it’s just a matter of time before he has it in the bag. After the KCB Safari rally we thought it belonged to Lee Rose but Chager’s Nanyuki outing has changed the equation completely,” Azar said.
Chager, on the other hand, is taking nothing to chance.
“We want to try and seal it before the last rally. The mission is to keep finishing in the podium places and keep the car in good condition. Risk driving will now be low than before but definitely not slower. We want to keep up and maintain the pace,” said Chager.
The runaway leader reckons that the chasing pack will be under just as much pressure as him. “Unless we don’t finish an event and God willing this shouldn’t happen. We will look deeper into making the car as reliable as possible leaving nothing to chance,” said Chager.
Azar finished third overall in Nanyuki, 43 seconds behind his younger brother Asad who fought from the last position on Friday’s spectators-stage to finish second after Rose retired in the last 12 kilometres stymied with fuel pump failure and Carl Tundo falling back with drive shaft problems.
“From the look of things, the only way we can compete effectively and match the likes of Lee and Boldy is to invest in a new car. I am more at home with endurance rallies. I am also used to recycling the same parts in the whole season and this is not the case with the current situation,” said Azar.