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Duncan storms back to Safari Classic top

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DUNCAN-CLASSICNAIVASHA, Kenya, November 26 – Ian Duncan recaptured the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic lead after winning two of the three stages in Day 6.

Duncan unleashed an almost flawless drive to upstage previous front runner Stig Blomqvist of Sweden.
Navigated by Amaar Slatch in a Ford Capri, Duncan catapulted to the top of the leader board from the day’s opening stage at Amboseli Fence and clung onto to the very end at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge where the overnight halt will be based for the next two days.

Duncan was back in the groove with a 2.5minutes cushion over Blomqvist.

The overnight lead has only exchanged hands between Blomqvist and the Kenyan 1994 Safari Rally champion since the start of the event on November 21.

Duncan set the quickest time of 69.26minutes in the 109km CS14 Bulls Eye stage, then shared the fastest stage time of 25minutes with South African Geoff Bell in the 48km CS15 run in Kajiado while the latter was the quickest again in the preceding 61km Olepolos stage.

Blomqvist’s second fastest time of 70.26minutes in CS14, precisely a minute behind the leader, saw him trail the Kenyan with a mere 10 seconds but the gap widened as the rally wore on.

Duncan extended his advantage to over a minute from the Swede after CS15.

Onkar Rai who is sharing a Porsche 911 with 2013 Kenya Champion Baldev Chager who has since taken charge at the wheel after the former started the race incurred a total of 9 minutes road penalties for late check-in to Tuesday’s service at Ol Tukai Lodge to drop out of fourth but the other Kenyan crew of Peter Horsey moved up to fifth.

The first section running from Amboseli Fence to Kajiado was wet whilst the preceding two turned out to be dry and dusty.

Alastair Cavenagh and Carl Tundo had no problems with their Viking Ford Escort MK2 car other than going off in the day’s opening stage in Amboseli where they lost 10minutes in the wake.

“The first stage was a bit wet so went off in exactly the same position we had encountered an off on Sunday. We have now decided that we shall not be taking any unnecessary risks as the car is getting weary as we move on,” said Cavenagh.

Belgian Gregoire who set a number of stage wins on the Tanzanian side was happy with the wet conditions.

“It was so much fun in the first section which was wet. The second and third were dry so it was a challenge again adjusting to the conditions. The sections in the Safari are longer than what we experience in Europe where we do shorter stages up to 25km so you have to concentrate for a longer period,” said De Mevius.

Rally manager Ashok Bhalla said the next three days are anticipated to be wet and slippery which will be a repeat of the 2011 event.

“Soysambu is really wet as of now whilst the Suswa stage could be tricky if wet,” said Ashok.

WHERE TO CATCH THE ACTION – November 27

07.00:: Restart Naivasha Sopa

07.09:: CS17-Kedong Ranch 1-Longonot 1 (32.47km)

08.37:: CS18-Suswa-Kongoni (45km) <--- CANCELLED DUE TO LOGISTICAL PROBLEMS 11.25::CS19-Soysambu-Green Park (83.78km) 13.30::CS20-Kedong Ranch 2-Longonot 2 (32.47km) 14.30: Naivasha Sopa 3 IN

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