NAIROBI, Kenya, April 4-Lee Rose defied the stiff competition and atrocious weather conditions to win the 2010 edition of the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Safari Rally on Sunday.
Rose who secured his second title in five years capitalized on Carl Tundo’s early retirement and brushed aside the muddy conditions in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9.
“Winning one of the biggest events for the second time in my career is a milestone in our family. My family, service crew and sponsors Wladoil Racing have made it possible for me to score historic victory. It is a big day,’’ said Rose.
Tundo’s chances of retaining the title evaporated on Saturday after his EVO9 stopped with an engine failure after a close encounter with a mud hole.
The African Rally Championship (ARC) title remains in the hands of Jamie Whyte of Zimbabwean for the timing being, following his third overall place the rally in a Subaru Impreza. The reigning African Champion won the Tanzania’s round of the ARC in March.
Alastair Cavenagh finally got the taste of the podium finish of the KCB Safari Rally by finishing second overall in a Mitsubishi Lancer.
Peter Horsey, one of the FIA Pirelli Young Star Driver finalists was placed in the fifth place driving a Mitsubishi Lancer with Moses Matovu.
Ghalib Hajee was the surprise package of the rally after finishing in sixth place, the highest position earned by the Eldoret-based driver in his long rallying career.
Uganda’s Jas Mangat the biggest casualty on Sunday after retiring with a blown engine in their Subaru Impreza.
He was followed with the retirement of Izhar Mirja of Mombasa who had maintained a steady top-10 place before he lost control of the car in the final stage of the competition.
Phineas Kimathi made a successful return to the competition with a commendable 17th place driving a Subaru Impreza with Norris Ongalo.
Ben Muchemi’s consistency continued with another good finish (13th) driving a Subaru Impreza with Bob Kaugi.
Former Motocross champion, Anthony Nielsen made it into the top-10 position with a commendable drive despite earlier problems in the rally.
It was also a memorable day for Susheel Shah who scored his best-ever Safari rally finish with a seventh position driving a similar car.
Despite finishing last, Jedida Weru and Stella Macharia became the first-ever indigenous lady crew to finish the Safari Rally in the history of the famous event.
1. Lee Rose/Pier Daykins (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 142.01 mins
2. Alastair Cavenagh/Gavin Laurence (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 149.14
3. Jamie Whyte/Philip Archenoul (Subaru Impreza) 149.29,
4. Baldev Chager/Raju Sehmi (Subaru N12) 151.31,
5. Peter Horsey/Moses Matovu (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9) 158.54
6. Ghalib Hajee/Surinder Sudle (Subaru Impreza) 170.44
7. Susheel Shah/ Andy Nagi (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 177.05
8. Anthony Nielson/ Michael Ogwapit (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 178.42
9. Azar Anwar/Julius Ngigi (Mitsubishi Evo 8) 179.46
10. Asad Khan/ Salim Khan (Subaru N10) 180.39
11. Olivier Costa/Andrew Doig (Subaru Impreza N11)180.52
12. Giancarlo Davite/Sylvia Vindevogel (Subaru Impreza) 182.18
13. Ben Muchemi/Robert Kaugi (Subaru) 184.33
14. Alex Horsey/Frank Gitau (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 187.32
15. Dethise Alaine/Masafiri Fabrice (Subaru Impreza) 189.22
16. Sandeep Jandu/Gurdeep Mehangra (Subaru N10) 191.05
17. Pheneas Kimathi/Norris Ongalo (Subaru Impreza N10) 208.17
18. Yogesh Patel/Keith Henrie (Subaru Impreza) 214.18
20. Amit Pandya/Sandy Ghir (Subaru Impreza) 218.50
21. Randip Lochab/Ravi Soni (Subaru Impreza) 258.28
22. Jedidah Weru/Stella Macharia (Subaru Impreza N8) 360.24.