NAIVASHA, Kenya, June 10 – ‘Flying Singh’ Baldev Chager navigated by Ravi Soni on his very first outing on R4 Mitsubishi Evolution 10 has taken the overnight lead of the 64th KCB Safari Rally after clearing the 2.2km Jamhuri Park opening stage in 1:48minutes.
However, Chager went to bed with a 1 second lead from Kabras Sugar Racing teammate Onkar Singh Rai who returned his new R4 Evolution 10 in 1.49 minutes.
Last year’s Safari Rally winner Jaspreet Chatthe and Carl Tundo in a Group N Evolution 10 settled for joint third after clocking 1.50minutes.
Ian Duncan, Tapio Laukkanen and Rajbir Rai are placed joint fifth on 1:51.
Hundreds of fans who turned up at Jamhuri Park for the super special were treated to some exhilarating displays of racing artistry with organisers running a twin track format.
Day 2 restarts at Elementaita Lodge on Saturday with drivers tackling six stages around Naivasha region.
Earlier, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Dr Hassan Wario urged Kenya Motor Sport Federation (KMSF) not to relent on its effort to restore the Safari Rally its lost world status.
The Safari which attracted world-famous rally drivers to Kenya was dropped from the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2002 when Kenya failed to meet World Motorsport Federation (FIA ) organisational requirements.
Wario said the government will continue supporting KMSF in its endeavours to ensure the event regains its rightful place in the global series.
Wario was speaking Friday during the flag off ceremony of the Safari Rally which will culminate on Sunday after traversing the Elementaita region.
The CS called on KMSF under the newly elected Chairman Phineas Kimathi, who is a former outstanding Safari ace, to continue pushing for the reinstament of the iconic rally back to the FIA WRC calendar by maintaing safety of competitors and spectators.
“The Safari Rally in Kenya remains a key promoter of sports tourism. Many foreign teams have on numerous occasions graced the eight leg Kenya National Rally Championship. Promotion of sports tourism can be exemplified here by good organisation and influx of state of the art machinery. We can ascend to higher heights if we enhance safety measures by taking our events to private farm stages,” Wario stated.
Day 1 Leaderboard
- Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (EVOX) 1.48mins
- Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (EVOX)1:49
3=Jassi Chatthe/Gugu Panesar (EVOX)1:50
3= Flash Tundo/Tim Jessop (EVOX)1:50
5=Tapio Laukkanen/Pasi Torma (Subaru R4)1:51
5= Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (EVOX) 1:51
5=Rajbir Rai/Greg Sted(Ford Fiesta R5) 1:51
- Izhar Mirza (EVOX) 1:52
- Issa Amwari /E.Njoroge (EVOX)1:53
- Imran Mogul/Adnan Din (Subaru N10) 1:54
Tomorrow’s Day 2 Programme
8:00: Parc Farme out-Elemntaita
Service B-20 minutes
8:30: CS2: Otut Gate 1-Elementaita 1 (37.06km)
9:18: CS3 :Soysambu Game-Lake End (48.83km)
Service C Elementaita Lodge
10:21: Lodge Spectator Stage (3km)
12:18: 30: CS5: Otut Gate 2-Elementaita 2 (37.06km)
1:06: CS7 :Soysambu Game-Lake End (48.83km)
2:09: CS8: Lodge Spectator Stage (2km)
2:57: Parc Farme In-Elementaita