NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 30 – The dramatic fight for the lead at the East African Safari Classic Rally continued on the penultimate day as local star Carl “Flash” Tundo motored to eclipse Briton Richard Jackson and compatriot Baldev Chager to move back in front.
Tundo had his campaign effectively gifted by Jackson’s and Chager’s gremlins but hoped the rally Gods would be kinder on the very final stretch tomorrow.
Navigator Richard Jackson was left to rue what he described a “bad day at the office” and candidly admitted they had lost a realistic chance of catching “Flash” Tundo.
Chager and Jackson have driven like demons on the 2017 Classic but watched in disbelief just how their Safari Classic fortunes appeared worsen with only a few stages of the route course to spare.
Carl was the first driver out of the CS20 where Jackson and Geoff Bell got stuck in mudholes.
“Stage one we wrong slotted which is my fault, we then got a puncture but got through the stage. Stage two was a complete fiasco where we got stuck in a mudhole,” Jackson’s navigator Ryan Jackson said.
Stig set the fastest stage time of 98.53minutes on the day’s opening stage (CS19) where Carl came in second fastest.
Day nine which is the last day of the Safari Classic restarts on Friday with three grueling final stages on Sokoke, Maji Ya Chumvi and Mitangoni after which the cars will head back to Sarova Whitesands for the finish in the afternoon.
The searing Coast heat has been described by many as one of the most tormenting aspects of classic cockpits but crews have soldiered on in awesome fashion.
Ramesh Vishram, the affable star of the Kenyan classic scene, took an excursion into a bridge in the day’s opening stage. His Ford Escort took quite a beating in the process but the duo indicated that they would restore the car and soldier on to the very end.
Raaji Bharij also suffered engine problems and was reportedly out of the race, according to unconfirmed reports.
DAY 9 PROGRAMME (LAST DAY-1ST CAR)
8:08-CS22-Sokoke -Giriama 2 (102.06.km)
20:41Cs23-Maji ya Chumvi 2-Majengo (61.14km)
12.50-CS24-Mwamkura 2-Mitangoni (29.50km)
14.03: Whitesands finish
END OF DAY 6 RESULTS -EASCR
- Carl “Flash” Tundo/ Tim Jessop (Kenya/Triumph TR7) 728.20
- Richard Jackson/Ryan Champion (British /Porsche 911) 781.20
- Baldev Singh Chager /Ravi Soni (Kenya /Porsche 911) 802
- Geoff Bell/Timothy Challen (SA/Datsun 260Z) 814.31
- Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle (Kenya/Ford Escort) 847.09
- Frank Tundo/Gavin Laurence (Kenya/Triumph TR7) 847.42
- Stig Blomqvist/ (Sweden/ Porsche 911) 849.10
- Roger Samuelsson/ (Sweden/ Porsche 911) 859.49
- Iain Freestone (British/Ford Escort MK1) 875.29