Kabras Sugar Racing speedster Onkar: I want best finish

Thursday, June 24th, 2021 00:00 |
Onkar Rai and his navigator Drew Sturrock during ARC Equator Rally in April. Photo/PD/ PHILIP KAMAKYA

The Kabras Sugar Racing speedster Onkar Rai says he has crafted a stage-by-stage plan to tackle the WRC Safari Rally that starts today.

Rai and his British navigator, Drew Sturrock, used the ARC Equator Rally held in Naivasha in April as a training ground for the global showpiece event.

“Though we didn’t do very well, we managed to back up our position in the Super Rally two after we experienced mechanical failures,” he disclosed.

The duo have been doing several test runs with the VW Polo R5 machine which he says is now in perfect condition as they wait for the Safari Rally D-Day.

They have developed a plan for the Safari Rally which will enable them to tackle stage by stage with ease.

“We want to finish the rally in an impressive position, other things like victory will be a great bonus.

Rai has strengthened his friendship with his co-driver in order to gel and be in tune ahead of the global showpiece.

“Our friendship has run deeper. He entrusts me with his life, I also entrust him with my life,” says Rai.

He reminisces how attending a car flag-off at KICC with his father inspired the dream he is living now.

Nineteen years later, Rai will no longer be an admirer in the game but a first competitor who will be up in arms against some of the world’s finest speed merchants of the trade.

Hundreds will watch him zoom off the ramp at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani today for the contest that will traverse some of the roughest and toughest terrains in Naivasha.

“It’s a dream come true. I am honoured and so blessed to be able to take part in this spectacle after almost 20 years of waiting,” Rai shared.

“ I promise to give my 100 per cent in this championship,” he said.

Rai admits it will be a tall order to beat the WRC cars driven by the likes of world champion Sebastien Ogier and the 2019 winner Ott Tanak because of their amazing horse power.

“If we manage to beat their speed that will be a great achievement but it’s highly doubtful.

“We have our own class to race which is the WRC2 and the WRC3.

“We want to make Kenya proud in those divisions,” he said.

Apart from several practices with the car, Rai attends gym daily, does general fitness, watches his diet and observes nutrition in order to stay fit, focus and alert.

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