•Onkar’s team-mate Baldev Chager reiterated that R5s will be strong through and through in 2019.
Newly crowned FIA African Rally champion Manvir Baryan will be flagged off in the fourth slot alongside his British co-driver Drew Sturrock.
Premier Class driver Onkar Singh Rai will be the first one off the ramp when the KCB Kilifi Rally revs off this morning.
Navigated by Gareth Dawe, the former Division 2 champion will savour his first ride in the VW Polo R5 which is the latest supercar to grace the 8-leg Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC). Onkar has already tested the Polo locally and will be among the star attractions in Kilifi.
However, it remains to be seen whether he will live up to expectations as 23 cars start the fourth round of the KNRC series at Mombasa Cement this morning at 7 am.
Onkar’s team-mate Baldev Chager reiterated that R5s will be strong through and through in 2019. Chager is seeded second in the Mombasa Motor Club-organised round and will be going for a rare hat-trick in his Mitsubishi Evolution 10- R4. Another Kabras driver Tejveer Rai who will be teaming up with Gavin Laurence is seeded third is another R4 Mitsubishi Evolution 10.
Newly crowned FIA African Rally champion Manvir Baryan will be flagged off in the fourth slot alongside his British co-driver Drew Sturrock. Manvir will be in a Skoda Fabia R5 model, which has literally swept the ground with all its race adversaries across the African continent over the past three seasons. While Onkar’s Skoda won the season-opening Nakuru Rally, Manvir’s Skoda is yet to register a win this season.
Manvir, who skipped Nakuru, lost the WRC Candidate Safari Rally on the very last stretch after his Skoda sucked in the dust at Kedong. A win also slipped through his fingers in Kadiado, where he lost to Chager by a mere 36 seconds.
In an interview, Chager said: “I’m approaching Kilifi with lots of respect despite all the confidence generated from my back-to-back wins. The strategy is like every other KNRC; really nothing is different at all. We will go out to do the best we possibly can. But it’s a fact that the R5s will be better through and through and there’s no comparison with Evos. Tundo and I were just lucky on Safari when Manvir’s Skoda R5 sucked in dust and Onkar was out of the event.”
The KCB Kilifi Rally starts with a 21.31km special stage tonight and continues with another 8 competitive stages tomorrow. This rally is the only round of the 2019 Kenya National Rally Championship at sea level.
PROVISIONAL START LIST
4 Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (VW Polo R5)
3 Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni Mitsubishi Evo 10)
8 Tejveer Rai/Gavin Lawrence (Mitsubishi Evo 10)
2 Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Skoda Fabia)
9 Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Mitsubishi Evo 10)
10 Izhar Mirza/Kavit Dave (Mitsubishi Evo)
15 Ammar Haq/Victor Okundi (Mitsubishi Evo10)
18 Sohanjeet Puee/Adnan Din (Subaru Impreza)
26 Paras Pandya/Falgun Bhojak (Mitsubishi Evo 10)
93 Pietro Canobbio/TBA (Mitsubishi Evo 10)
22 John Ng’ang’a/George Njoroge (Subaru Impreza)
50 Issa Amwari/Job Njiru (Mitsubishi Evo 10)
27 Minesh Rathod/Sameer Yusuf (Mitsubishi Evo10)
11 Karan Patel/James Mwangi (Subaru Impreza)
53 Raaji Bharij/Rajay Sehmi (Porsche 911)
55 Hussein Malik/Linet Ayuko (Mitsubishi Evo 10)
95 Adil Mirza/Guveer Pandhal (Mitsubishi Evo 8)
92 Nashad Kara/Kailesh Chauhan (Subaru Impreza )
33 Evans Kavisi/Absolom Aswani (Subaru Impreza )
36 Daren Miranda/Wayne Fernandes (Subaru Impreza)
42 Geoff Mayes/Suzanne Zwager (Land Rover )
94 Amit Vaja/Willy Kibata (Subaru Impreza )
96 Arjun Patttni/Dinesh Varsani (Subaru Impreza )