Paraplegic driver Sachania wants to make his mark at the Safari Rally: The Standard Sports

Nikhil Sachania (right) and navigator Deep Patel during the KCB Bank sponsorship launch in Karen, Nairobi. [Courtesy]

Former Kenyan Motorsport Personality of the Year winner Nikhil Sachania is among local drivers striving for glory at the 2022 WRC Safari Rally, to be held in Naivasha from 23-26 June.

The former Soy Sportswoman of the Year is looking forward to a respectable position in the global series after failing to finish last year’s rally.

He is currently in the process of getting his Mitsubishi EvoX machine in shape after securing a sponsorship deal from KCB Bank.

The financial institution’s support has helped him to start his pre-competition tests and will help him to manage his various logistical tasks at the championships.

The Kenya National Rally Championships (KNRC) specially prepared vehicle champion is also doing everything to join forces with his burly partner Deep Patel, who will be calling out his notes during the rally, which will traverse the rough terrain of Naivasha.

“Before the Safari Rally, I do the finishing touches here and there,” he said.

“In view of the current difficult economic situation in the country, sponsorships are few and far between. Actually I didn’t want to drive the whole season this year, but now with KCB Bank on board I’m looking forward to being back.”

Samani Construction Ltd’s project manager is a living embodiment of the incredible resilience of the human spirit in motorsport.

The driver proved that disability is not the same as inability. This follows his rise after a near-fatal accident that almost eliminated him from the sport. He was testing his quad with friends at Athi River in September 2011 ahead of his national championship debut when the accident happened.

He hit a rock at high speed and landed upside down. The impact shattered his spine and he was out of the sport for a while, but his deep belief in rallying brought him back, fiercer than ever.

The incident now seems like a blessing in disguise as Sachania has won trophies with ease.

“I have always loved motorsport. I don’t remember my first rally, but it was stories from my dad who was a rally ace in the 1980s.”

“As soon as I had enough strength after the accident, I jumped into the first car I could get,” said Sachania, who is also a beneficiary of the FIA ​​Disability and Accessibility Commission.

“My father and uncle Kiran Patel also gave me moral support and advice so I always knew who to turn to,” he said.

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