Racer will be returning to the iconic WRC rally under Kabras Sugar Racing

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 00:00 |
Baldev Chager busy at work getting his racing machine Mitsubishi Evo X Photo/PD/EDWIN OTIENO

Edwin Otieno

As organisers embark on the final phase of their preparations ahead of WRC Safari Rally, Kenya national Champion Baldev Chager has taken time to laud colleagues  at his Kabras Sugar Racing stable.

Chager is excited with the manner in which his Kabras team mates  have worked on his car with everything now pointing in the right direction.

The multiple Kenya and Safari champion is excited that his R4 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X is in amazing shape and fully compliant with requisite standards set by the world motorsports governing body, FIA.

Chager will be returning to the iconic Safari incidentally on his eighth year under Kabras Sugar Racing sponsorship and in over two decades since his last WRC in 1998.

National drivers have been accorded a special dispensation by the FIA following extension of homologation for some cars like Subaru Impreza N10.

Safety standards for Safari eligibility entail fitting of the FIA approved safety fuel tank which Chager is glad to have fulfilled well in time.

‘It’s actually very exciting with all the hype building up.  WRC cars are in a different league altogether -- it’s actually like the Premier League.

I mean, competing against them is going to be very difficult because we are not registered and our cars are actually not physically allowed in the WRC main class. 

My car is fully compliant. We’ve always consistently kept making sure everything is up to standard and up to date. The homologation for EVo X might expire next year but I’m sure there will be an extension done to it. 

They always do that for some of the older cars and with the Evo X  being one of the most recent models of group N showroom category cars.

Definitely we will have a longer extension because of it not having a following model but with Subaru they have carried on with newer models.”

Meanwhile, Chager is thrilled to be a part of the historic comeback of the Safari.

“I think from the current generation of drivers, the only ones to have done the real WRC Safari Rally back in the day are probably Ian Duncan and Carl “Flash” Tundo and myself.

“We did the WRC Safari in 1998. It was a three-day event with long stages and open roads.  The only closed stage we had was at Ngong Racecourse which is now a golf course. 

That was the only real close stage we had. The rest were open public roads which were well manned.

It was a very challenging  long event. But like in everything in the world, things have evolved. It’s now a modern format of shorter sprint stages.”

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