Chager first off ramp as Mini Classic Rally starts

Tariq Malik cod riving Kailesh Chauhan works on his Ford Escort at the Scrutineer. PHOTO | ANWAR SIDI |

What you need to know:

  • Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen is seeded second in yet another Porsche 911 with Gavin Laurence besides him
  • Day One action will start and finish at the Waterfront Mall Sunday
  • Day Two action will start from the same place Monday 7am and end at the Sarova Woodlands Hotel, Nakuru

Baldev Chager, the former Safari Rally winner, will be flagged off first as the Mini Classic Rally kicks off Sunday morning at 7.30am from the Waterfront Mall Karen, in Nairobi.

The event, to be sponsored by Safaricom 4GB+, will be run by the East African Safari Classic Rally Limited.

Chager, who has done four Classic Events since his debut at the 2009 Balkan Rally, will be driving a Porsche with Ravi Soni, his long term navigator. The best result for the crew was winning the Nakuru Classic Rally this year and finishing third in the 2017 East African Safari Classic Rally.

“I thoroughly enjoy Classic Rallies. It’s a very demanding and exciting event due to the marathon nature and long stages. The cars are also extremely amazing to have as an office for long periods. Classics require some sort of strategy, which involves pacing yourself in a manner that saves the car from damage, yet being fast enough to be in contention for a win,” Soni told Nation Sport.

Soni added: “Kenya National Rally Champion events are all flat out as they are sprint events. The notes are also worlds apart from where in classic it's danger note. So one uses the trip meter continuously in Classics.

KNRC is in pace notes where every meter of the road is called during recce. Classic has no recce, so there’s the element of not knowing what you are in for at the start of every stage.”

According to the provisional start list, Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen, who has proved to be a hard nut in the KNRC series having won the overall title in his illustrious career, is seeded second in yet another Porsche 911 with Gavin Laurence besides him.

The Finn will be followed by Raaji Bharij and Rajay Sehmi in another Porsche 911 out of the 22 crews, who have entered the three day event covering about 1093 kilometres of which 563km will be competitive.

Day One action will start and finish at the Waterfront Mall Sunday.

Day Two action will start from the same place Monday 7am and end at the Sarova Woodlands Hotel, Nakuru where the first car is expected at 6.30pm. The cars will tackle the following competitive stages; Oletepesi/Railway (69.82kms), Naire/Il Damat (51kms) and Seyabei/Bridge (87kms).

The final day will start and finish at the Sarova Woodlands Hotel with three more competitive stages.

Provisional start list

1. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Porsche 91)

2. Tapio Laukkanen Gavin Laurence (Porsche 911)

3. Raaji Bharij/Rajay Sehmi (Porsche 911)

4. Ian Duncan/Anthony/Nielsen (Ford Capri)

5. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (Porsche 911)

6. Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle (Ford Escort MK2)

7. Kailesh Chauhan/Tariq Malik (Ford Escort RS 1800)

8. Rob Linck/Imran Khan (Porsche 911)

9. Jayant Shah/Arshad Khan (Porsche 911)

10. Farhaaz Khan/Kashif Shaikh (Porsche 911)

11. Aslam Khan/Samira Khan (Ford Escort)

12. Joey Ghose/Harpal Singh (Ford Escort MK1)

14. Ramesh Vishram/Riyaz Ismail (Ford Escort MK2)

15. Nish Lakhani/Teeku Patel (Datsun 1600)

16. Ben Woodhams/Cor Roest (Ford Capri)

17. Yusuf Pasta/Ahmed Rashid (Ford Escort MK1)

18. Dinesh Sachania/Kiran Patel (Datsun 180B Kenyan

19. Minesh Rathod/TBA (Colt Lancer)

20. Asad Anwar /TBA (Datsun 1600 SSS)

21. Raj Jutley/Etienne Malherbe (Datsun 160J)

22. Rommy Bamrah/Harvey Jutley Datsun 260Z)

23. Rajesh Maini/Devan Bhundia (Ford Escort MK1)

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