NAIROBI, Kenya, September 6- Carl Tundo ended three months of heartache and mechanical drawbacks to win the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Visa Card Rally on Sunday.
The win revives Tundo’s title chase after it had been threatened with two successive retirements in Nanyuki and Nakuru and sees him remain on top with 360 points.
With Ian Duncan (Nissan Patrol P/U) and speedster Rose (Evolution 9) settling for second and third overall, Tundo was a relieved man as he drove into Whistling Thorns in Kiserian.
Tundo’s victory was his fourth of the season leaving no doubts about his quest to regain the title he lost to Baldev Chager last season.
While Tundo was celebrating, his Dalbit teammate Alastair Cavenagh was excruciated with his exit on the 14.2km CS2 Marble-Elengata section. Defending Champion Chager had to contend with a second successive retirement of the season with gearbox problems.
“We broke the rear arm on the second stage and suspected it had cracked,” said Cavenagh.
The rockery tour of Kajiado was unforgiving considering manifold mechanical gremlins, more so punctures that the crews had to contend with. Rose’s charge was marred with two punctures.
The trick in Kajiado was to simply place your wheel on the right path and the ability to shirk from the rocks in the dry and dusty day.
Tundo’s navigator Tim Jessop attributed their success to good navigation in the rockery.
“If you took the right path then you could skip the rocks effectively well,” Tim said.
A total of 33 cars started the rally and only 17 managed the demanding course. Only one retirement in George Njuguna (Alpha Romeo) was recorded in 2WD out of 11 starters.
This was the highest retirement of the season. Casualties included Dinesh Sachania and Stefano Roca who crashed on CS3. Ben Muchemi also retired early on CS2 and so were Susheel Shah and Robert Gow.
VW Golf Gti driver Jasmeet Chana has inched closer to recapturing the 2WD title after winning in Kajiado Sunday.
Chana navigated by Sudhir Thatti drove to the Whistling Thorns finish near Kiserian elated with his second successive win.
Chana who won the 2WD Championship in 2007 beat a fast rising James Kirimi by 50seconds to stay on top of things.
“I an happy with the win. It’s a great stride to the title campaign,” said Chana. James Kirimi who made his rallying debut last year achieved his second ever podium position and by extension his second runners up position in his rising career.
Adnan Suhail who is driving the ex-Martin Gitata championship winning Daihatsu Charade secured his first ever podium position in third exhilarated and focused.
Defending champion Leo Varese had to contend with fourth overall slot as the title campaign hots up.
.Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Evo9) 1h47m.02
Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Nissan Patrol)1h48m18s
Lee Rose/Moses Matovu (EVO9) 1h55m09s
Asad Anwar/ Kashif Sheikh (Evo 9) 1h59m09s
Azar Anwar/ Julius Ngigi (Evo 8) 2h01m27s
Don Smith Sonal Smith (Subaru N12) 2h03m08
Anthion y Nieslen/Michael Ogwapit (Subaru) 2h04m59s
Kirit Rajput/ Ravi Soni (Subaru N10) 2h05m23s
Asad Khan/Charles Kibue (Subaru N10) 2h07m15s
Said Hamad/Victor Okundi (Subaru) 2h17m24s
Gianluca Ciaraldi/Farhaaz Khan (Evo 7) 2h19m47s
Jonathan Savage/Gavin Lawrence (Datsun 260Z) 2h20m28s
Charan Thethy/Atul Kochal (Subaru) 2h29m23s
Shaun Miller/Allasdair Keith (Evo 6) 2h35m54s
Jasmeet Chana/Sudhir Thatti (VW Golf Gti) 1h09m34s
James Kirimi/Kimeli Korir (VW Golf Gti) 1h10m24s
Adnan Suhail/Zahir Shah (Daihatstu) 1h10m37s
Leo Varese/Kigondu Kareithi (VW Golf Gti) 1h10m38s
Charles Hinga/Evans Mwenda (Toyota Levin) 1h11m31s
Ishpal Bilkhu/Paramjeet Sembi (Toyota Levin) 1h16m30s
Munir Khan/Sam Jethwa (Toyota Levin) 1h18m46s
Zahid Omar/Imran Khan (Mitsubishi Celeste) 1h24m42s
Gurmit Thethy/Depinder Kalsi (VW Golf GTi) 1h36m20s
George Njuguna/Eric Nzuva (alpha Romeo) 1h41m46s