NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Series leader Onkar Singh Rai will miss out on the next round of the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) citing pressing commitments.
The three-time reigning Nakuru Rally winner said he already had prior commitments and as such can’t partake the Kenya Motor Sports Club (KMSC) round slated for Kajiado on the first weekend of March.
But the Nakuru based former KNRC Division 2 Champion promised to resume the hunt for the coveted title once he makes a comeback in the third leg in Eldoret.
Onkar beat Carl “Flash” Tundo by a mere 4seconds in a flat-out last stage shootout to seal a hat-trick of Nakuru wins in the season opening event which revolved around Mogotio and Gicheha Farm.
Onkar leads the KNRC log with 25 points ahead of defending champion Tundo who is four points adrift with former multiple champion Chager in third spot on 21points. His elder sibling Tejveer Rai who incidentally was a road sweeper in Nakuru is lying fourth on 15points.
Tejveer is among the drivers affected by the scrapping of the B13 class which permitted crews the use of a bigger restrictor and a sequential gearbox.
Others are Chager and Tundo. With the B13 rule, the Mitsubishi Evolution Xs possessed the requisite ammunition to tackle the Skoda Fabia R5 make which swept the ground with all and sundry in Nakuru.
“The top boys are really fast so it will be quite difficult to chase them,” Tejveer said.
“I’m not looking forward to the 33mm restrictors again and normal h pattern gearbox. The larger 34mm restrictor and sequential boxes had added a little zest last year making the cars a little faster and fun to drive. So to keep up with the R5 category cars I guess we just have to try even harder this year,” said Chager.
Ian Duncan driving a Nissan pickup and navigated by Anthony Nielsen was the biggest casualty in Nakuru.
“Nakuru was going on very well. We were lying 4th roughy 2-3 minutes behind the leader. Considering the size of the car, the route was a little tight for us and sometimes we struggled getting round hairpins. We retired due to a fuel pump issues. We definitely know we can’t beat the top 3-4 drivers. However, we fight to be ahead of the medium class group.”
KCB Kenya National Rally Championship Standings after Round 1-Nakuru
- Onkar Rai 25
- Carl Tundo 21
- Baldev Chager 18
- Tejveer Rai 15
- Mahesh Halai 12
- Sohanjeet Puee 10
- Ammar Haq 8
- Issa Amwari 6
- Karan Patel 4