NAIROBI, Kenya, October 6 – ‘Singh is King’ was the catch phrase of the 2013 KCB Guru Nanak Rally after Baldev Chager completed a double on Sunday, by winning the gruelling event to clinch the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) title.
Also celebrating after the dust settled on the penultimate KNRC round was Dennis Mwenda, who despite getting stuck in the second last competitive stage and failing to complete the rally, still soared to the 2WD national crown as Alisdair Keith, driving a Subaru Impreza, scooped the Group S class.
But the day belonged to Chager, who last won the title in 2008, after he posted 1:26:45 for victory after taking advantage of veteran Ian Duncan stoppage in the last section between Suswa and Kongoni to assume the lead he never relinquished.
It put the icing on the cake for the man who just needed to nurse his car to a top-ten finish to secure the title despite his stated intention he would take it easy at the start.
Duncan settled for second in 1:26:49 to miss out on a record dozen Guru Nanak victories as deposed champion, Carl Tundo, romped home third in 1:29:35
This was Chager’s third win of the season after emerging victorious twice in Kajiado during KMSC and Safari rallies.
“It’s a great feeling to win the championship for the second time. Everything worked out through the season the team members were spot on. It was scary at some point though because if Tundo won it, then we would be compelled to finish in top 5,” said Chager.
The conditions proved very demanding to the 2WDs as most of them failed to make it through the Kedong stage which was lose in some stretches and laden with thick volcanic ash soil towards the first 10kilometers.
Quite a number of crew failed to master the tough conditions.
Ronak Shah retired at CS3 end following clutch failure. Newcomer Eric Njogu was time barred in CS1 at Kedong.
Issa Amwari was out on the transport road second leading to service when the propeller shaft broke.
“We tackled the first two stages and lost it on transport,” said Issa’s navigator Job Njiru.
Vicky Singh of Mombasa also kissed the event goodbye just 3Km to the finish of CS1 with a broken lower suspension arm.
KCB Mombasa Rally wraps up the eight leg KNRC series on November 2 and 3. .
PROVISIONAL OVERALL RESULTS
1.Baldev Chager (EVOX)- 1.26.45
2.Ian Duncan (EVO9)- 1.26.49
3. Carl Tundo (EVO9) – 1.29.35
4.Onkar Rai (EVOX) – 1.30.09
5.Rabir Rai (EVOX)- 1.30.56
6.Quentin Mitchell (Subaru N16)- 1.32.47
7.Azar Anwar (EVO8)- 1.33.57
8. Jassi Chatthe (EVOX) – 1.34.27
9. Frank Tundo (EVOX)- 1.36.14
10.Manvir Baryan (Subaru N16)) – 1.38.34