NAIVASHA, Kenya, June 11 – African rally champion Jaspreet Chatthe has taken the overnight lead of the 64th KCB Safari Rally after wrapping up his day two drive with a 21 seconds cushion over speedster Rajbir Rai.
With several top drivers failing to master the dusty and demanding volcanic ash soil terrain in Elementaita and Soysambu, Chatthe, who is also last year’s Safari winner and defending Kenya National Rally champion, savoured his campaign after Rajbir ran into electrical problems on the day’s 2km super special at Elementaita Lodge.
Chatthe’s navigator Gugu Panesar was all smiles after checking into the day’s last service.
Third was Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen who despite picking up three punctures closed the gap to sit in third overall ahead of Carl Tundo and Ian Duncan.
“The going was really good in the early morning run but coming out of CS 5 and going into the last stage, we developed an electrical problem. We managed to get it done but lost time unfortunately,” Rajbir said.
Chatthe’s navigator Gugu Panesar said being first on the road slowed them in places they encountered wildlife.
“It’s been a good day. The stages were good. But it became rougher as the event wore on,” Panesar stated.
Day two which is the events longest run claimed over 10 cars including Day one leader Baldev Chager, Quentin Mitchell with a broken shock and Issa Amwari with gearbox gremlins.
Youngster Karan Patel went off on CS2 and was unable to continue after he got stuck on a bush.
Other cassualties were Tejveer Rai with a punctured radiator, Pietro Cannibio, Izhar Mirza (electrical), John Nganga, Jonathan Somen, Jansher Sandhu, Rehan Shah, Sammy Nyorri with a broken windscreen, McRae Kimathi and Moez Malik.
Day 2 leaderboard
- Jassi Chatthe /Gugu Panesar (EVOX) 1:43.17
- Rajbir Rai/Greg Stead (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:43.38
- Tapio Laukkanen/Pasi Torma (Subaru R4) 1;51.06
- Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (EVOX) 1:53.47
- Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (EVOX) 1:54.21
- Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (EVOX) 1:55.51