As Kenyans reveled in the excitement mired within the thrill and carnival atmosphere of the Safari Rally, sad breaking news came in that Tejveer Rai, rally driver and son of the owner of Kabras Sugar, had been involved in a nasty accident which reportedly injury his spine, and he had been flown to Nairobi for specialised treatment.
Even as this unfolded, in the background, the towering shadow of his prominent family continues to hover over him. The Rai family is currently thrust in the middle of a bitterly contested race to lease Mumias Sugar. The bidding saw the successful bid and later withdrawal of steel billionaire Narendra Raval through his company, Devki.
The fight for Mumias’s lease has seen the Western leadership divided into two camps. One side led by former Sports CS Rashid Echesa and a group of other tanga tanga allied members favoured Devki, while another camp allied to Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala appeared to be in favour of the Rais.
In the Friday incident, Kenyan driver Tejveer Rai crashed out of the WRC Safari Rally Kenya after his R5 VW Polo nose-dived at Kedong’s (SS3) stage.
Tej, as he is fondly known, exited the event on the initial Kedong run which also claimed World Rally Championship stars Elfyn Evans (Toyota) and Dani Sordo (Hyundai).
The driver was immediately been airlifted to Nairobi for further check-up.
Tej is the current leader of the Kenya National Rally Championship ahead of his teammate Baldev Chager and younger sibling Onkar Rai.
Toyota’s Elfyn Evans went out just 300 metres to the end of the volcanic ash soil stretch.
Navigated by Scott Martin, Evans hit a rock on the inside of a fast right bend thus shattering the front right wheel and suspension on his Yaris.
Evans’s car spun in the next corner and with the damage clear, he reversed the car off the road, his day over.
Spain’s Dani Sordo became the second WRC driver to exit at Kedong.