WRC: Stellar list announced as Iceman intensifies preparations
A stellar list of drivers have been announced for the World Safari Rally set for next month.
In the list announced by Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi, big shots such as Sebastieg Ogier of France and co-driver Julien Ingrassa are set for the show alongside Elfyn Evans of Great Britain.
Kenya’s Rai Onkai is also in the entry list alongside Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, Karen Patel, Nzioka Waita amongst others .
Meanwhile KNRC Premier Class driver Jasmeet Chana aka “Iceman” is feeling pretty confident in the run up to next month’s WRC Safari Rally.
The multiple KNRC category champion has embarked on his final preparations and expects a trouble-free run given the nature of the situation at their CRS Racing Workshop in Nairobi’s Parklands.
“It’s been really hectic. We will soon begin to put final touches to our preparations,” he said.
As always, he will just try his level best and work extra hard to do the best job when the world-beaters converge on the lakeside regions of Elementeita and Naivasha on June 24-27.
Chana also reveals that he will concentrate more on having a really good recce so that his pacenotes are as good as they can possibly be.
This will be Chana’s first WRC Safari as a driver considering that he has also participated in global editions of the event as a service crew for Toyota Team Europe (TTE).
Since the ARC Equator Rally in April, Chana has been working to ensure his car is compliant with the FIA specifications. The FIA event is cosponsored by KCB Bank Kenya to the tune of KSh. 100million and Toyota Kenya with Ksh. 30million. The Government of Kenya is the main sponsor of the event.
Chana went on: “We have had an FIA approved FT3 fuel tank fitted in our boot. Basically, the car is a Group N, which is compliant with FIA specifications. We should be good to go in a few days before testing.”
Chana will use the same Evo 10 he drove on the Equator Rally navigated by his elder sibling Ravinder Chana aka Ravi.
He says preparations have been major because of WRC Safari being a longer and tougher event.
“It’s just a matter of rebuilding the engine and gearbox. We have had a thorough going-over of all components to make sure everything is working perfectly well. We intend to run our first Safari test in due course,” Chana explained.
“But really, when it comes to the actual condition of the stages, Safari will depend a lot more on the weather, so we’ll be watching that for sure!
“Our approach for the Equator was to go flat-out. but due to mother nature it became a survival game. You must have seen the number of dropouts we had in Naivasha, so we decided to take it easy and make sure we finish. During Safari, we are looking at the national championship as well,” said the Jaguar Petroleum sponsored driver.
Chana’s debut ever rally was the ICC Safari Rally in 2007 when he drove a VW Golf GTI in Two Wheel Drive and finished third in class. He also won the 2WD Championship twice in 2007 and 2009. From then on he has won various championships in the Toyota Celica including the KNRC Division 3,2 and 1. He later moved to the Evo 9 which he won his division and 3rd overall in the championship. Chana later upgraded to his current Mitsubishi Evolution 10.
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