Evans Kavisi and Absalom Aswani have promised to bounce back from their WRC Safari Rally Kenya retirement following engine gremlins on the penultimate speed test in Naivasha.
The KCB Racing Team duo retired on the second pass of the 13.30km SS18 Narasha test with only the Hell’s Gate power stage to spare and while leading the WRC National Category.
Kavisi said: “It’s taken us almost 5-days to come to terms with what happened. It was one of our best performances with a rather undesirable outcome. We got into a rut that threw us on to the road bank, a very small impact with a very disastrous outcome. The engine ceased and we couldn’t motor on.”
“We rest in the comfort that it was not a navigator error, not driver error nor mechanical failure; things that have plagued us in the past. Our preparations were meticulously executed, assisted by Karan.Patel.Racing who did our crack tests and our strategy flawlessly executed.”
Nikhil and his partner Deep Patel powered their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 to 18th overall and fourth in the Kenya National Rally Championship category.
Kavisi congratulated his KCB teammates Nikhil Sachania and Deep Patel for the finish and a brilliant drive throughout the event.
“As we forge forward and prepare for the next one, we recognize that we are truly blessed to have partners like @kcbgroup and @mintimotorsport who believe is us and are invested in our future,” Kavisi said.
Kavisi and Absalom had a slow start obviously trying to preserve the car for Friday, so their Thursday was easy.
Friday started well but with cancellation on Loldia in the morning they proceeded to Geothermal where they had a good run.
The duo managed to surge on, though in the second pass Kedong was again red flagged. The two ended the day at a steady position 18.trailing Rally 2’s Fabia of Amaanraj Rai (Kenya’s too placed driver on Safari) by almost a minute.
Having settled, Kavisi and Aswani tackled the first stage of Day 2 and registered 13 overall fastest time among locals which catapulted them into 14th overall position.
But they hit a hidden rock outcrop in the second stage which rattled them making the duo ease off but manage 15th overall fastest time.
Aswani: “Leg three started off with the cancellation of SS14 Oserian speed test and we proceeded to SS15 Narasha stage which was tough with fesh fesh but we managed 19th fastest and safe to keep their overall position.”
“ We then went into loop 2 having dropped a position, this time trailing Carl Tundo by 41 seconds where he also later dropped. This meant they were back on the summit of the National Category, but unfortunately retired due to an engine problem after losing oil from their oil cooler.,” expounds Aswani in finality.