Ravi Chana is excited ahead of this year’s Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally, in which he will once again partner the renowned Tanzanian driver Jayant Shah.
A highly experienced navigator with substantial rally mileage clocked up across two decades spent sitting in rally car cockpits, Chana acknowledges there is always something to learn when sitting alongside one of African rallying’s seasoned competitors.
Chana is also conscious of his place in the line, for the seat that he now fills was occupied up to 2013 by the great Lofty Drews; part of Safari Rally history, thanks to his victory alongside Shekhar Mehta in 1973.
“Calling the tulips where Drews once sat gives me great pride. When the Safari Classic going gets tough, thoughts of Drews help me endure this nine-day adventure. Shah may now be in his 70s, but his record speaks for itself.
I have enjoyed every minute of our partnership especially in the Tanzanian championship,” said Chana. Though the Shah/Chana partnership was formed many years ago, it was not until 2015 that a space on Safari Classic opened up when Drews called time on the Classic, an event he famously described as “an adventure before dementia.”
Having won the 2wd navigator’s title in Tanzania alongside Shah in 2013, Nairobi-based Chana was the obvious choice for the vacancy.
Chana was mentored by his father, an accomplished rally driver, the late Kulwant Singh Chana, before making his rally debut on the 1991 Guru Nanak and his competitive outings are currently confined to Kenya and Tanzania.