NAIVASHA, Kenya, June 12 – Jaspreet Chatthe successfully defended the KCB Safari Rally title after winning the 64th edition run at a dusty lake Elementaita terrain that culminated on Sunday at Kenyatta International Convention Center.
Chatthe the African Champion, who accumulated the fastest time in 10 competitive stages, was followed by Rajbir Rai while Finnish Tapio Laukannen closed the podium ahead of veteran Ian Duncan.
Chatthe navigated by Gugu Panesar extended their overnight lead to the final day at the last stages in Elementaita.
“It’s a great moment for us, I won the Safari Rally last year and we are back with a resounding victory,” Chatthe stated.
Rai finished 10 seconds behind, while Finland’s ace Laukannen overtook Ian Duncan by one minute to take the third position.
“Yesterday was quite challenging for us and today we had to fight for second best position,” Rai underscored.
Car ‘Flash’ Tundo, who was looking forward to equaling Shehktar record, finished fifth.
“It was a great outing for us, but we had several mechanical problems, we are glad to have finished the rally. To all my rally fans another round is at the corner,” Tundo stated.
Baldev Chager, who retired on Day 2 after his car hit a stone spoiling the radiator, says he will be aiming to shine in the next round.
“It’s rallying and at times there isn’t much one can do with such mechanical problems. I had envisaged winning after the Jamhuri stage and we kept on pushing even after the radiator had issues but too bad, it wasn’t our time,” Chager said.
After the Safari Rally, Rajbir Rai leads the overall Kenya National Rally Championship standings on 60.5 points ahead of Jaspreet Chatthe who has 57.5 while Tapio Laukkanen comes in third on 56 points.
Ian Duncan follows fourth on 43.5 points, Baldev Chager is fifth on 37 points while Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo is placed sixth on 33 points.