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“Flying Finn” Tapio wins Guru Nanak Rally

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TAPIO

“Flying Finn” leads from start to finish to win the 36th Guru Nanak Rally. PHOTO/ courtesy.

NAIROBI, October 24 – Former Finland and British Rally Champion Tapio Laukkannen led from start to finish to clinch the 36th Guru Nanak which folded curtains to the eight-leg Kenya National Rally Championship in Machakos county.

Navigated by Pasi Torma in a Subaru Impreza R4, Tapio clocked 1h28m00s to secure his fourth victory of the 2015 season in an event organised by Sikh Union Club around Kapiti Plains, Konza and Lisa Farm.

Last year’s Guru Nanak winner Ian Duncan came in second whilst Raaji Bharij -who was first on the road in the season closing event -sealed the podium dash in 1h30m05s.

Fourth overall was Manvir Baryan in a Ford Fiesta R5 while youngster Karan Patel finished in fifth place.

Tapio, who beat Duncan by a 1.11 minutes margin, has literally swept the ground with all his opponents this season! But the Finn speed merchant had his title ambitions stymied with mechanical problems in Meru, Voi and Nakuru.

Despite finishing third overall in KNRC final standings behind newly crowned champion Jaspreet Chatthe and Duncan, the “Flying Finn” was happy with the stage times he has posted thus far.

Tapio won the season opening round in Kisumu, then followed this up with wins in Eldoret and Machakos and was in devastating form on his Guru Nanak victory this weekend.

“Today was really exciting. Despite the fact that we have failed to win the championship, we happy that we have been able to prove our pace against the rest and won half of the events. But then we were let down by gear box issues in Voi as well as retiring in Safari and Nakuru. The route for this year’s Guru Nanak was free from human and motor traffic. To be very honest, the roads in Kenya are a lot rougher as compareed to what we are used to back in Europe. But all in all it was good fun tackling a full season in Kenya,” said Tapio.

Leonardo Varese finished second overall in 2WD Class to clinch the championship on home stretch.

Eric Bengi was indeed the victor in 2WD Class after returning his RunX in 25th overall position but had to contend with playing second fiddle to Varese who achieved his fourth career championship in the last event.

Jasmeet Chana was crowned the KNRC Division 1 champion with James Kirimi clinching the supplementary class championship much to the chagrin of Murage Waigwa who led the series at penultimate stage.

Out of the 50 drivers who started the event, only 10 survived the demanding conditions.

Carl “Flash” Tundo who was testing his new Triumph TR7 for the upcoming classic rally retired with overheating problems. Engine failure knocked Finland’s Joose Kojo out of the rally on SS2.

Other casualties were Steve Mwangi, Sammy Nyori, McRae Kimathi, Daren Miranda, Imran Mogul. The event was run on 100% coded private farm roads.

Provisional final results-KCB Guru Nanak 2015

  1. Tapio Laukkanen/Pasi Torma (Subaru GVB13) 1:28.00
  2. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (EVOX) 1:29.11
  3. Raaji Singh Bharij/Jasneil Ghataure (EVOX) 1:30.05
  4. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:30.41
  5. Karan K Patel/Tauseef Khan (EVOX) 1:31.27
  6. Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (EVOX) 1:32.18
  7. Quentin Mitchell/Robin Dimbleby (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1:32,27
  8. Jassi Chatthe/Gugu Panesar (EVOX) 1:33.43
  9. Rajbir Rai/Tim Challen (EVOX) 1:35.12
  10. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (EVOX) 1:36.20
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