The KCB Asset Finance Rally in the environs of Kaptagat and Iten in Eldoret will provide the battle front from Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo and Ian Duncan the battle ground to nose ahead in the penultimate round of the series.
Both rivals are the undoubted headline acts for the event that has attracted 54 entries and they will be driving identical Mitsubishi Evo 9s with the seasoned Tim Jessop and Amaar Slatch reading the notes in that order.
Tundo is enjoying an 85-point cushion from Duncan who is smarting from the failure to finish at the last round in Nanyuki as he seeks his third diadem in five years following triumphs in 2007 and 09.
However, Duncan is pledging to put his competitor under pressure to open the title race ahead of the season-ending Guru Nanak Rally.
“We had a bad run in Nanyuki and that spoilt the title challenge for us opening a good chance for Tundo. We tried to go hard but we broke the car and had to limp all the way,” the 1994 Safari Rally winner added.
Tundo needs to finish in respectable positions in Eldoret and Nairobi to bag the crown but Duncan must occupy the podium places if he is to push the title race to the wire.
“I don’t want to make this sound in a bad way but if Tundo breaks down then we will have a clearer chance of boosting our title chase. Besides that we will be going to Eldoret to have fun.”
Tundo’s teammate Alistair Cavenagh, who is third on the table with 250, will be worth watching out for since he will continue his stage time blitz that he has spearheaded in the last several rounds.
Meanwhile, Eldoret rally which is one of the oldest in the championship will see another bumper entry of women’s teams that have featured prominently through out the season.
Speaking at the official launch of the event on Tuesday, Stella Mwangi’s co-driver Helen Shiri was happy with their participation in the sports.
“It’s been really tough, first we had problems with the car but now we are okay after bonding with the many ladies coming in, at least its giving us something to compete for and be at the top.”
Shiri and Macharia will be in their trusted Subaru Impreza under the Warembo Bila Make-up banner with Caroline Gatimu in her VW Golf and Phillis Wambui in a Toyota Levin among others.
They have a 28-year-old statistic to challenge, and that is to win the record set by Anne Teith and Sylvia Kind who became and remain the only women to win in Eldoret when it was known the Raymonds Rally in an Opel Ascona in 1984.
Nadeem Kana and co-driver James Mwangi are a crew on cloud nine having perched themselves on top of the series and will be looking solidify their place and scoop the honours after only two season in the sport.
“2WD has been very competitive, but luck has been on our side with consistency determination, hope and God has been on our side. We have managed to lead the really from the second round till now, so it’s been a great run and no pressure at all,” co-driver Mwangi intoned.
Kana leads the series on 350 and his closest rival will be David Mwenda who comes to Eldoret having won his maiden drive in the Toyota Sprinter GT in Nanyuki.
Another driver Adnan Suhail will be another thorn in the flesh for the leader having posted some of the fastest times this season.
Drivers will head to reconnaissance on Friday before scrutineering at Sirikwa Hotel from 12 to 5pm.