NAIROBI, Kenya, November 18- Champion Carl ‘Flash Tundo celebrated a hat-trick of KCB Guru Nanak Rally victories to end his title-winning season on a resounding high in the rugged terrain of Suswa and Kedong on Sunday.
History was also made by his sister Tash Di Cangio who was reading the notes instead of Tim Jessop for a change when she became the first woman in 28 years to win a domestic rally when Tundo powered his trusted Mitsubishi Evolution IX to the podium ahead of all.
The brutal rally claimed 45 drivers out of 79 starters with Baldev Chager (Subaru Impreza N16) and veteran Azar Anwar in another Evolution joining the winner at the rostrum in second and third in the eighth and final round of the 2012 Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC).
“It’s such a fantastic feeling, I mean, pretty good record. Today has been a bit of luck as well. In the championship, we had a bit of luck, but were always out there to win-but the fact that we’ve won it with my Sis is quite amazing,” the smiling victor who sealed his sixth win of the campaign in an emphatic display of consistency gushed.
Di Cangio shared in the blitz of being the second woman since Sylvia King navigated Ann Taith to victory incidentally in the Guru Nanak edition of 1984 to win a local event.
Anwar, 57, hailed the event as “The toughest ever Guru Nanak Rally in history,” after nailing a third finish in the Main Drivers’ championship with his performance in a testament of the grueling task at hand.
The rocky floor of the Great Rift Valley offered crews a taste of the famed Safari Rally of old that used to run in the same sections when it was the back breaking round of the World Rally Championship.
Pre-race contenders including 1996 Finish and 1999 British rally Champion Tapio Kaukannen who led in the opening 33 km stage prior to his exit in the preceding 57km CS2 stage was among the high profile casualties that included KNRC runner-up, Ian Duncan and speed merchant Alistair Cavenagh.
Tundo had his campaign effectively sewn up when Kaukannen, Cavenagh (radiator burst) and Duncan (clutch problem) retired.
Chager, who has failed to beat the flying Evolutions, admitted it was time to upgrade his N16 with a new machine next season if he is to regain the form that won him the KNRC in 2008.
He is disclosed that he would be shopping around for an Evolution X, the step-up from the IX.
Other casualties were Alex Horsey, Minesh Rathod who rolled just before the finish of CS1, Darren Miranda (suspension arm) and Asad Anwar whose suspension bolt dropped out.
Joel Muchiri and Riyaz Ismail also kissed the event goodbye about two kilometres from the CS2 start of Rifle Range stage with a broken rear right top shock mounting.
PROVISIONAL FINAL RESULTS
1. Carl Tundo/Tash Di Cangio (EVO9) 1.38.10
2. Baaldev Chager/R. Sehmi (Ssubaru N16) 1.40.46
3. Azar Anwar/J Ngigi (EVO8) 1.43.23
4. Jas Mangat/Ravi Soni (Subaru N12) 1.43.50
5. Onkar Rai/R. Chagger (Subaru Nn166) 1.46.44
6. Quentin Mitchell/Robin D. (Subaru 16) 1.47.24
7. Jassi Chathhe/G. Panesar (EVO9) 1.48.58
8. Raji Bharij/G. Mayes (EVO9) 1.40.26
9. Mike Mwangi/E. Mwenda (EVO8) 2.01.16
10. Don Smith/Bob Kaugi (Subaru N12) 2.03.53
FINAL KNRC STANDINGS
1. Carl Tundo. 525
2. Ian Duncan 340
3. Azar Anwar 265
4. Baldev Chager 260
And by powering his trusted Mitsubishi Evolution IX through the rocks and harsh stages to the podium ahead of
Five players from Kola Beach Football Club died on the spot and dozens were injured after their vehicle was involved in a grisly accident in Marereni area near the Kenyan resort town of Malindi yesterday.
The players, officials and fans of the club that features in the Malindi zonal league were returning from a match where they lost 2-1 when their Canter truck collided with a lorry while avoiding a pothole.
Football Kenya Federation boss, Sam Nyamweya and other officials from the area led by Coast representative Hussein Terry sent their condolence messages with the president promising to visit the families of the deceased and injured victims.
Champion Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo ended this year’s KCB Kenya Rally Championship on a resounding note when he won the curtain closing Guru Nanak Rally to complete his hat trick at the event.
An elated Tundo with his sister Tash Di Cangio reading the notes powered his Mitsubishi Evo 9 to the podium ahead of Baldev Chager and veteran Azar Anwar in the tough rally that ran in Kedong and Suswa.
The challenging event that echoed the famed Safari Rally of old claimed 45 drivers from 79 starters as Di Tangio became the first woman in 28 years to win a rally in Kenya since Silvia King triumphed at the same event in 1984.
Sofapaka will meet Gor Mahia in tomorrow’s FKF Cup final after bottling league champions Tusker 1-0 in the controversial second semi final at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Joseph Nyaga arrowed a drive from range to the bottom corner via a post in the 74th minute to settle the tie that saw a goal for each side chalked off by the referee in an incident packed second half.
Gor who are the cup holders qualified for the decider by edging archrivals AFC Leopards 2-1 on Saturday.
Lydia Cheromei outpaced the field over the last 27 kilometres to secure a comfortable win in the Yokohama international women’s marathon.
The 35-year-old overtook the pace-setters after passing the 14 km mark and never faced a serious challenge afterwards, crossing the finishing line in two hours, 23 minutes and seven seconds.
Other runners were forced to compete for the runner-up slot far behind Cheromei.