NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 12 – Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) Division One leader Nikhil Sachania has every reason to smile, thanks to the ‘safety equipment grant’ he has received from the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission.
The reigning three-time Kenyan SPV Champion now has a certified safety fuel tank from ATL which is one of the items that are needed for a car to be eligible for the World Championship Safari Rally.
Sachania is also working on putting in an RS diff, a standard part available for the EVO.
“The fuel tank is a certified FIA tank and a very big boost for my Safari aspirations next year. It is great to have the FIA help support and promote disabled drivers across the globe,” he said.
The FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission offers support to disabled drivers through the no-cost supply of a range of safety equipment.
Available to disabled drivers who participate in at least five races per year sanctioned by their National Sporting Authority (ASN), the grant is intended to make motor sport more accessible without compromising safety.
The FIA created the Disability and Accessibility Commission to ensure accessible racing and motoring across both the Sport and Mobility pillars.
“In terms of teamwork, we do have more time to fine-tune the car for 2020 events once the COVID-19 restrictions are eased. The pandemic situation has given us more time to look back and better our car. I recently received a fuel tank from FIA to help me take part in our home WRC event. We are trying to fit all components in the car,” Nikhil said.
Nikhil was hoping to make his WRC Safari debut next month but due to the global health emergency, he has more time to rework his hand-controlled SPV Mitsubishi Evolution X well in time.
“Our hopes this season were to wrap up our 2020 KNRC campaign in top 10, defend the SPV title, participate in WRC Safari and hopefully win the Division One drivers and co-drivers titles for the first time,” he stated.
Nikhil returned to a sport which nearly killed him and confined him to a wheelchair.
But most importantly, he rebounded in 2014 to win the SOYA Disability Award, the Kenya National Rally SPV car category championship and the KMSF Motorsport Personality of the Year Award in 2014.
He has dominated the SPV Championship and won the coveted title thrice in 2014, 15 and 19.
In September 2011, Nikhil was involved in an accident in Athi River where he was testing his new quad with Shazar Anwar and Zane Young trying to get ready for his would-be debut event. He then hit a rock at high-speed and landed head first. The impact shattered his spine.
The operation of his hand-controlled car is a simple push and pull lever mechanism- pull to accelerate and push to brake.