NYERI, Kenya, February 6 – True to his word, Carl “Flash” Tundo won the season opening KCB Micro Banking Rally in Nyeri serving up great moments ahead for fans in the new 2012 Kenya National Rally Championship.
After skipping the season-ending Mombasa Rally in December and winning the penultimate Guru Nanak Rally in November last year, Tundo promised that he would launch a vigorous comeback and win more rallies this season.
And his plans got off to a flying start in the Mount Kenya region when he and his navigator Tim Jessop racked up a maximum 80 points on the ex-Lola Varlaque Mitsubishi lancer evo9.
Leo Varese won the 2WD followed by defending champion James Kirimi.
“I was really working hard to beat Alastair (Cavenagh) on the stage times and I am happy that it went on well,” said Tundo.
Defending champion Ian Duncan was left to rue a puncture on CS9 but drove on it to the end of the section and claimed 2nd overall place incidentally.
Alastair Cavenagh sealed the podium dash while Baldev Chager and his partner Raju Sehmi raced the Oilibya/Kabras Subaru N16 machine to fourth overall place.
But Chager also rued being the road sweeper .
“I have now come to grips with the Subaru N16 but I got increasingly frustrated by being first on the road but I am happy to be back to the finish in one piece. The gravel was also very loose and it was really tough for me,” said Chager.
Spectators in Nyeri were treated to some exhilarating displays of rallying artistry as they had the opportunity to view rally cars at full action on the Ruring’u super special stage.
Officials and sponsors also followed rally action in real time courtesy of Car Track who were tracking all cars from the rally headquarters at Green Hills hotel.The super special stage was repeated twice yesterday.
Cavenagh who went to bed with a 1 second overnight lead from Peter Horsey at Saturday’s super special but had to contend with a few gremlins in the second day yesterday including a puncture on CS9.
“The rally went on well apart from the puncture which dropped me down. Otherwise i was going for second overall place,” said Cavenagh who was navigated by Gavin Laurence.Azar Anwar was happy with 5th overall place but admitted candidly that the competition amongst frontrunners was fast and furious.
“The competition is becoming very stiff at the moment as the top guys are pushing really hard,” said Azar.
The steep and twisty terrain however proved very unforgiving for some crew who kissed the event goodbye.Casualties included Tejvir Rai (fuel pump), Bryan Thairu (gearbox), Peter Horsey (radiator), Stella Macharia (engine) and Alex Horsey (gearbox).
KCB KNRC FINAL TOP 6
1.Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (EVO9) 01:08:51hrs;
2. Ian Duncan/A. Slatch (EVO9) 01:10:32;
3. Alastair Cavenagh/G. Laurence (EVO9) 01:12:29;
4. Baldev Chager/R. Sehmi (Subaru N16) 01:12:45;
5. Azar Anwar/Julius Ngige (EVO8) 01:14:03;
6. Hardeep S. Rehsi 1.15.28;
7. Onkar Rai/Raju Chagger (Subaru N12) 01:16.15
8. Manvir Baryan/S. Yusuf (Subaru N16);
9. Don Smith/B Kaugi (Subaru) 1.21.21;
10. Sandeep Jandu/Dipps Mehangra (Subaru) 1.21.40.