Reigning champion Baldev Singh Chager to test VW R5 mettle in Voi Rally

Friday, August 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Onkar Rai’s VW Polo R5 that will be driven by KNRC champion Baldev Chager during the KCB Voi Rally on Saturday. Photo/PD/FILE

Reigning champion Baldev Singh Chager has finally gotten the opportunity to savour a super car during Saturday’s KCB Voi Rally where he will pilot Onkar Rai’s VW Polo R5.

Chager has not had much seat time in the VW Polo R5 but believes the little he has experienced has shown that the car is a different breed compared to his championship-winning Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. 

“It’s a different style of driving and I must adapt to it as soon as I can. Its very responsive and the potential is great.

I do feel positive and look forward to the countdown to the start of CS1 in Voi,” Chager said.

Chager who won the season- opening KCB Nakuru Rally in February will now be the lone ranger for Kabras Sugar Racing which has previous featured Rai siblings Tejveer and Onkar.

 He, however, noted that he does feel low that his ‘brothers’ and teammates (Onkar and Tejveer) will not be there  participating.

Tejveer is currently recuperating from the accident he encountered during WRC Safari Rally in Naivasha.

“We constantly keep Tej in our prayers for a speedy recovery, he has always been so supportive of the team’s motorsport activities and a real pillar keeping the team together.

It is a strange feeling to go down as a one car team as we have had almost 10 years of nonstop rallying together.

We have had lots of fun and rallying has made  us come together like family.”             

Chager hopes to defend the KNRC title in style this season in the VW Polo R5 car. The R5 is one step below the World Rally Championship car, and a preserve of WRC2 and WRC3 competitors.

“For now my sponsors have agreed to let us do the Voi event and hopefully with a good result we can potentially carry on with the same machine for the rest of the season,”  Chager added. 

Tundo returns to Voi with an Evolution X after driving the Minti Motorsport VW Polo R5 which he drove to victory in the ARC Equator Rally and ARC Rally Tanzania.

He also finished ninth in WRC Safari and third in WRC3 behind the wheel of the Minti Polo.

Other KNRC Premier Class drivers headed for the Sikh Union-organised event are Karan Patel (Ford Fiesta R5), Issa Amwari , Jasmeet Chana and Eric Bengi.

Chager reveals that he has some experience from the past Voi-based events, adding that the roads are generally very nice. 

Saturday’s event will count towards the fourth leg of the KNRC after the season’s opening Nakuru Rally, ARC Equator Rally and WRC Safari.

Battle royale looms in Division 1 where joint leaders Paras Pandya and Nikhil Sachania will go for each other’s jugular. McRae Kimathi and Dilraj Chatthe are a distant third on 30 points apiece.

Group N action will involve leader  Jasmeet  (78 points), Paras (47 points), Evans Kavisi (34 points) and Hamza Anwar (30 points).

Legendary Ian Duncan tops the Specially Prepared Vehicles (SPV) class with 30 points ahead of Nikhil on 44.

Duncan has nevertheless entered a Minti Motorsports Nissan 240 RS in the classic car category.

The rally will start and end at Voi Wildlife Lodge. The repeat run of Izera Ranch stage (5.45km) will be the event’s Power Stage  where the top three fastest drivers will earn bonus points in the championship.

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