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Stung Tapio rolls to Kajiado with vengeance

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TAPIO-OUTNAIROBI, April 28- After Safari Rally heartbreak, Finnish driver Tapio Laukkanen and navigator Pasi Torma return with vengeance to the domestic scene this weekend when action turns to Kajiado for the third round of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC).

Wounded national champion, Baldev Chager is also hell bent on chalking his first win of the season to supplant surprise Safari winner, Jasmeet Chatthe who is ahead of the pack at the summit of the standings.

Laukkanen quickly earned the “Flying Finn” moniker when he totally dominated the first two days of the Safari last month before sensationally crashing out in the early stages of the last day in Meru when the rear arm of his Subaru snapped.

Kisumu based Chatthe capitalised to bring his Mitsubishi Evolution home for his biggest victory and his memorable triumph will be set aside as a pack of top drivers including Chager who is first off the ramp.

The KNRC leader will be the driver to beat after winning the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) Series competition at the Sasol Rally of South Africa to shoot to the top of the continental standings as well.

Having already won in Kajiado, Chager is determined to rack up his first win of the season and so are his Kabras Racing team-mates Onkar Rai and Tejveer Rai.

Kabras team has entered Mitsubishi Evolution 10s which have dominated KNRC over the past decade until Tapio joined the national series.

-Ford focus-

Manvir Singh Baryan who is among the fastest rising youngsters in Kenya at present has entered a Ford Fiesta R5 that he will be driving for the third occasion since acquiring it from M-Sport earlier this year.

Also entering a similar car is Rajbir Rai who rolled his car in Kisumu in February with the Fords yet to secure a podium finish in thus far despite their superior technology.

Carl “Flash” Tundo and Alastair Cavenagh are expected to enter their Proton Neo Satria S2000s that have also found the rough local terrain a tough nut to crack in a rally billed to be another back-breaker.

The KCB Kajiado Rally will cover Kajiado and Machakos in arguably one of the toughest KNRC series this year.

The rally will be flagged off outside KCB Kitengela Branch on Saturday while the spectator stages will be based at Andy Corner/ Konza and East African Portland Cement Quarry where the event’s prize giving ceremony will be held.

The road surface for competitive stages is grave with the transport road section, according to clerk of the course Jim Kahumbura being tarmac, broken tarmac and gravel.

Competitive mileage will be 154.8km with 100.6km of liaisons sections for the cumulative total of 255.4km.

“We find pride when we see new stars emerging as winners for the various series. This is a clear indication that the sport is growing tremendously in the country.

“Our sponsorship for various sports disciplines is due to our belief that talent need to be nurtured if at all the whole society is to move forward in various spheres of development,” KCB Marketing Director Angela Mwirigi said during the Tuesday launch of the event in Nairobi

Provisional top grid

1- Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni /Mitsubishi Evolution 10

2- Quentin Mitchell/Tom Woodburn /Skoda Fabia

3- Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock /Ford Fiesta

4- Jaspreet Chatthe/Craig Thorley /Mitsubishi Evolution 10

5- Rajbir Rai/Dale Furniss /Ford Fiesta

6- Ian Duncan/Kavit Dave /Mitsubishi Evolution 10

7- Carl Tundo/ Tim Jessop / Proton Neo Satria

8- Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe / Mitsubishi Evolution 10

9- Tapio Laukkanen/Pasi Torma /Subaru Impreza

10- AlastairCavenagh/Gavin Laurence /Porsche 911

STANDINGS

KNRC OVERALL

  1. Jaspreet Chatthe     58.5 points
  2. Baldev Chager       37.5
  3. Ian Duncan             31.5

KNRC DIVISION 1

  1. Mahesh Halai            45
  2. Frank Tundo            37.5
  3. Amaanraj Rai           31.5

KNRC DIVISION 2

  1. Asad Khan               58.5
  2. Dennis Mwenda     46.5
  3. James Kirimi           27

KNRC DIVISION 3

  1. Jansher Sandhu     45
  2. Murage Waigwa     37.5
  3. Stefano Roca         31.5

KNRC GROUP N

  1. Baldev Chager       52.5
  2. Onkar Rai               47.5
  3. Ian Duncan             37.5

KNRC S Class

  1. Murage wa Waigwa 37.5
  2. James Kirimi           31.5
  3. Taiti Wachira           27

 

KNRC CLASSIC

  1. Alastair Cavenagh 37.5
  2. Stefano Roca          31.5
  3. Ranjeet Sehmi         27

KNRC 2WD

  1. Bhupinder Sagoo “Raju” 40.5
  2. Sammy Nyorri         40
  3. Eric Bengi               37.5
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