NAIROBI, October 6 – Reigning champion Carl Tundo successfully defended the KCB S&L Rally in the rocky and treacherous terrain in Olepolos on Sunday to restore some measure of pride .,
Tundo has not been at his usual brilliant best this season but a puncture suffered by pacesetter Lee Rose in the final stages effectively handed Tundo the title in the sixth Kenya National Rally Championship round.
It also saw him close the gap in the drivers’ standings to just 60 points with two rounds to go.
“I am very happy. Today was my lucky day. We had a trouble free run apart from a leaking rear diff but we didn’t stop. But there is still quite a big gap and we are not gonna back off, a jubilant Tundo said.
Tundo navigated by Tim Jesop in a Subaru N10 was not aware of his victory until news about his Rose’s puncture broke in service.
Rose had led the pack all through to CS4 Oltepesi-Najile Junction section before a rocky stretch ripped off his tyre and he stopped to fix the puncture. “We got a puncture on the fourth stage and we actually lost it while trying to change the tyre,” said Rose.
Azar Azar, 54, showed that age was nothing but a number when he powered his Oilibya-sponsored Mitsubishi EVO 6 to second overall -1.21minutes behind Tundo. Rose dropped to third overall incidentally 16 second behind Azar.
The rocky and fast stretch was quite unforgiving but drivers took a big gamble to attack in the conditions. The strategy to attack in the rough however came with a price to pay.
An early morning puncture reduced Baldev Chagers initial 100poin t lead to a 70 point gap from Tundo. Chager however fought gallantly and aggressively from 13th to fourth overall position putting his title chances in jeopardy.
After six rounds of blistering pace and merciless adrenaline, Chager still leads the KCB KNRC with 395 while Tundo is slowely closing in with 70points adrift.
The 2WD Class too had its share of drama with Charles Hinga losing his lead to Leo Varese who racked up a second straight win. Varese is now leading the formula two series with 102 while Hinga dipped to 95.
The unforgiving course showed no mercy to drivers with Landis Teams Susheel Shah and Abdul Sidi (Subaru N10) retired with suspension failure on CS1 drove all the way to the end of the stage but could not continue.
1. Carl Tundo (Subaru N10) 1h46m07s
2. Azar Anwar (Mitsubishi EVO 6) 1h47m28s
3. Lee Rose (Mitsubishi EVO 9) 1h47m44s
4. Baldev Chager (Subaru N12) 1h50m47s
5. Asad Anwar (Subaru N11) 1h54m18s
6. Anthony Nielsen (Subaru) 1h55m26
7. Alfir Khan (Subaru Hatchback) 1h56.00s
1. Chager 395
2. Tundo 335
3. Rose 300
4. Azar 280