Rajiv Ruparelia | Credit: Alvin Kibet

Uganda’s Rajiv Ruparelia encountered more of a disappointment than vibrancy in his attempt at the Kenya season-opening event, Nakuru rally last weekend.

Ruparelia was debuting in his first event in Kenya but it didn’t go all smooth for the crew. 

Early mechanical mishaps took a dig in his confidence. 

“We realised the car had an issue on the way to the first stage. 

“At first we thought it was change of altitude and we didn’t take it serious. But immediately we took off from the start, the car stopped. We lost a lot of time trying to figure out the problem. 

“Eventually we realised it was the connector. We tried to fix it, but in the middle of the stage car stopped again and we tied it again. 

“By that time the mood had totally died,” explained Rajiv.

And that was the beginning of the devastating event.

Rajiv Ruparelia catching up on a crew during one of the stages Credit: Alvin Kibet

“We encountered another unfortunate incident with a marshal at the start of stage two. We were made to wait and then started last.

“It was so unfair as we ended up catching up on crews and it continued up to stage four when we put in a complaint.

“The move was unsafe for both the crew and fans,” he added.

Rajiv and co-driver Enoch Olinga carried on to finish 12th overall.

The event was won by Baldev Chager and Ravi Soni in a Mitsubishi Evo X. Tajveer Rai came second followed by Onkar Rai.

Baldev Chager | Credit: Alvin Kibet

“With all the problems, we are glad we finished the event. It couldn’t be better than that. 

“We had several punctures since the terrain was a bit different; tight and rocky, any slight off can bang the tyres.

“We also had a half roll in the last stage, but we managed to put the car back on road and proceeded.”

Rajiv recounts on the positives from the rally.

“Honestly, the event was very organised, from the service to the stages. Everything was demarcated to make it easy for everyone.

“The timing system is really advanced. They had ambulances at the beginning of every stage. Everything looked so professional. 

“That showed me, we have a lot of work to do in Uganda. But it is all achievable. We can do it,” he asserted.

The RR Crew has also confirmed participation in the upcoming Equator Rally in April as well as the much anticipated Safari Rally in Kenya.

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