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Motor Sports

Navigator Ravi takes on the driver’s seat at the Nanyuki Rally

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Ravi Soni in a past Rally
  • Ravi has been a longtime navigator for Baldev Chager
  • The Nanyuki Rally will be staged next weekend
  • This is the sixth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship

Long-time co-driver to Baldev Chager, Ravi Soni will be among the star attractions on the race weekend of September 2-3 when the sixth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship heads to Ole-Naishu and Greystones.

Ravi joins the Minti Motorsport outfit to sit alongside 2009 Pirelli Star finalist Raaji Singh Bharij in a Skoda Fabia Rally2 which is the newest race machine in town.

Jasneil Singh Ghataure, who has previously navigated Raaji in previous KNRC rallies, will be the team manager in a move that has ensured the team is running at its absolute best.

“I was expecting it to be difficult to understand a new driver in a new car, but after one test, it looks like it will be a smoother transition than expected. Raaji is an excellent driver and makes great pacenotes. The team has been very welcoming and their vision and purpose is something I am fully aligned with,” Ravi said ahead of the rally.

He adds; “For sure I thought it would take a lot more time to get used to rallying again after a nine-month sabbatical, but it was like riding a bike. Felt like I had been in a rally car all through.”

Confident of a podium finish

Ravi is confident for a podium position in Nanyuki after his first test drive with Bharij.

“I am actually very happy how the test went and how we clicked on a short test. A great test with a young motivated team who are well organised and eager to achieve the best results and limits.”

“I love Nanyuki; definitely the best rally in the KNRC calendar for me. I have done many rallies there and love the nature of roads there. It’s proper Kenyan rallying and I look forward to it,” quips Ravi, who has also co-driven for Onkar Rai once a few years ago, Uganda’s Jas Mangat, Randeep Lochab, Asad Anwar, Hardeep Rehsi and Kirit Rajput.

Ravi’s first career victory came in 2013 during the KCB Kajiado Rally where he guided Baldev Chager to a memorable win in a Subaru Impreza N14.

“Boldy (Chager) hadn’t won for a KNRC for four years nor had a Subaru until that occasion of the Kajiado Rally. We went on to win the championship in 2013 and 2014,” Ravi recalls the glory days with Chager.

Five rounds of the KNRC competed so far

The 2022 KNRC series has been to Il-Bisil, Nakuru, Eldoret and Naivasha for the ARC Equator Rally and WRC Safari Rally. Current leader Karan Patel has four wins under his belt with Carl Tundo winning the KNRC Safari Category.

The Nanyuki Rally will start and end at Greystones which is also the venue for the Service Park and Rally Headquarters. Scrutineering and reconnaissance shall take place on September 2 paving way from action on September 3.

Three stages (Mlima Hema, Ole-Naishu and Greystones) will be repeated twice for a total competitive mileage of 153.04km and liaison distance of 62.16km.

Clerk of the Course Bimal Patel says the designated spectator viewing point will be centered on Greystones. The repeat run of Greystones will indeed serve as the event’s Power Stage where the fastest drivers will earn bonus points for the Championship.

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