NAIROBI, May 7 – Baldev Chager navigated by Ravi Soni in a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 ended 18 years of waiting when he racked up his second career KCB Kisumu Rally title in the wet and muddy terrain around Chemelil region.
This was Chager’s first win in Kisumu since 1998, the year he made his Kenya National Rally Championship debut in awesome fashion.
Chager won even as six times former National champion Ian Duncan retired halfway through on medical grounds.
Duncan was leading the pack prior to his poor health condition.
Rajbir Rai, son of legendary Sarbi Rai, romped home second 14 seconds behind the winner in a Ford Fiesta R5.
Manvir Baryan also in a Ford Fiesta R5 completed the podium dash 32secinds behind the winner.
“Today was perhaps the toughest conditions we have seen in a long time. Organisers had to cancel two stages because of adverse weather conditions and had to reroute and rerun some stretches. It was very rough and the rocks in there proved quite unforgiving at some point,” the former three-time Kenya National Rally champion said.
Ian Duncan’s naviagtor Amaar Slatch said: “Ian has not been feeling well for the past couple of days with diarrhoea and vomiting being the major problems. The medic have checked him at the park and advised for good rest. His blood pressure is also not good. We didn’t want to risk it. Rallies come and go but our health remains paramount.”
Tapio finished in an unfamiliar 14th place due to punctures and engine problems.
Kisumu Defending champion Jassi Chatthe finished 22nd after stopping in the first stage for more than 20 minutes.
Out of the 28 cars which started the Equator Motor Club event only four failed to master the wet and rough conditions.
2WD contender Sammy Nyorri retired with engine gremlins. Division 1 driver Farhaa Khan also had gearbox failure. Other casualties were Dinesh Sachaniay and Pierro Cannobio who did not start the event in the morning due to personal reasons.
Tapio was happy to return his Subaru GVB13 back in one piece despite two pictures on both loops which dipped him to the position.
Top 10 provisional Results
- Boldy Chager (EVO X) 1:01.00
- Rajbir Rai (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:01.14
- Manvir Baryan (Ford Fiesta R5) 1.01.32
- Carl Tundo (Subaru GC8)1:01.38
- Karan Patel (EVO X) 1:06.50
- Frank. Tundo (EVO 9) 1:07.30
- Onkar Rai (EVOX)1:07.35
- Izhar Mirza (EVO9)1:07.45
- Tejveer Rai ( EVOX) 1:08.14
- Jansher Sanshu (EVO9)1:13.01