KNRC’s sole paraplegic driver Sachania confident of FIA clearance

Nikhil Sachania inside the modified car he used to compete at a past KCB Nakuru Rally.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The club organised the penultimate round of the series last weekend where a large number of competitors and spectators turned up.
  • "The event went well, many spectators and competitors turned up. In the 4x4 contest, competitiors tackled a short circuit which has a mixture of mud, tag of torque, rock crawling and hill climb stunts," event director Humphrey Kiruki told Nation Sport.

Nikhil Sachania, the only paraplegic rally driver in Kenya, says his car should be ready for the final inspection by FIA inspectors by the end of the month.

“The final item that FIA has to check is the minor modifications they asked me to do for the hand controls.

Apart from that, the world motor sports governing body has already extended its support by providing me with safety equipment, special fuel tank, fire extinguisher and a set of overalls,” said Sachania while talking to Nation Sport.

The equipment will extend the length of time within which drivers and co-drivers with disabilities are protected against fire and heat, providing additional crucial seconds to extricate themselves from their cars in an emergency.

The protective clothing standard is already mandatory in World Rally Championships (WRC) competitions.

Sachania is able to driver a modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10 with most of the equipment and gear system fixed to the steering wheel of the car as he is unable to use his legs. The car is a Group N model, but it runs in SPV due to the gearbox that has been installed.

Sachania, who is paralysed from the waist downwards after a quad accident in 2011 on the outskirts of Athi River, is the only handicapped driver in the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC).

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The Mt Kenya Motor Sports Club will host its final round of its 4x4 Challenge on December 12 on the outskirts of Meru town.

The club organised the penultimate round of the series last weekend where a large number of competitors and spectators turned up.

"The event went well, many spectators and competitors turned up. In the 4x4 contest, competitiors tackled a short circuit which has a mixture of mud, tag of torque, rock crawling and hill climb stunts," event director Humphrey Kiruki told Nation Sport.

Kiruki added:"The buggies and quad bikes had to tackle a two kilometre autocross track."

Bartosz Musani won the Driver of the Day trophy driving his Toyota Landcrusier.

Expert class: Rizwan Rashid (Toyota Landcrusier), John Kanyali (Unimog) and Bartozs Musani (Toyota Landcruiser).

Intermediate class: Sajid (Landrover 110), Eric Kimathi (Escudo) and Jackson Mwiti (Suzuki).

Beginners’ class: Norman Marete (Landrover 110), Humphrey/Charlie Kiruki (Nissan Pickup) and Leonard Mwirigi (Landrover 110).

Autocross (quad bikes): Benard Kabiru won the race followed by Dennis Maina. Autocross (buggies): Kevin Kabugi won and Makev Manji Kabugi was second.

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Did you know that…  .

There are eight different classes in the KNRC series. They are SPV, which are Specially Prepared Vehicles. This is any vehicle not in its original production form in respect to body and engine, including road legal buggies. SPV cars are not limited to the 33mm restrictors.

The other is Class 3 – 2WD cars which are normally aspirated. (This category is for full KNRC distance). Class 4 – Clubman Rally Championship (formerly 2WD Championship).

Class 5 – Classic cars built before December 31 1975. (For full KNRC distance). Class 6 – Vehicles which are sold in Kenya by the official agents of manufacturers with limited modifications as allowed under Appendix C (2) attached and F vehicles which at any time have been homologated by FIA fitted with a turbocharger must run the current FIA prescribed turbo restrictor (33mm).

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