NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – Carl “Flash” Tundo has taken the overnight lead on Day 1 of the African Rally Championship (ARC) 2018 Safari Rally after the Kedong SS1 stage.
Navigated by Tim Jessop in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, Carl, the son of veteran Safari Rally veteran (Frank Tundo) cleared the 31km stage in 18.26 minutes taking a 1.9 second lead over defending African Rally Champion Manvir Baryan.
Baryan in a Skoda Fabia R5 manages 18.28minutes in the wet and muddy Kedong SS1 stage which opened the day for the second round of the African Rally Championship.
Onkar Rai also in a Skoda Fabia R5 came in third 21 second behind the leader.
Whatever Tundo does today he will surely be watching his back over the high flying Skoda Fabia super cars of Onkar and Manvir.
Kisumu based Japreet Chatthe came in fourth ahead of compatriot Baldev Chager.
The highest placed foreigners were three times Uganda champion Jas Mangat and Randeep Singh TZ- in 6th and seventh places respectively.
With drivers heading to Sopa Lodge for the overnight perc fereme its still too close to call.
Today’s penultimate leg is what is expected to separate the boys from men with crews tacking a competitive run of 143km and a liaison distance of 162km in the Delameres.
Three stages Soysambu (18km), Sleeping Warrior (25) and Elementaita will be repeated twice in the Delameres on Sunday.
The current torrential rains currently pounding the country have rendered the circuit wet and slippery, one of the factors which led to the cancelations of the Aberdare Hill stage two days ago.
After flag off at KICC on Friday, crews headed west into the Great Rift Valley where action will be concentrated today and tomorrow before finishing at Sop Lodge in Naivasha tomorrow.
The event was flagged off by cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa who urged Kenyan organisers to strive uplifting standards of organisation and indeed the lost World Rally Championship status.
Day one saw youngster Karan Patel (Mitsubishi Evolution X) kiss the event goodbye.
In an interview, Karan was left to rue a bad day at the office in the event which also counts towards the second round of the Kenya National Rally Championship.
“We went flat out into rocks at Km 15 where the bulletin issued this morning stated (!! Must divert left). Its one of those days,” said Karan.
Provisional Results after SS1 Kedong 31km(-Top 10 End of Day One)
- Carl Flash Tundo/Tim Jessop (Evolution x) 00:18.26.1
- Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Skoda Fabia R5) 00:18.28.0
3.Onkar Singh Rai Gareth Dawe (Skoda Fabia R5) 00:18.47.9
- Jaspreet Chatthe/James Morgan (Mitsubishi Evolution x) 00:18.53.4
- Baldev Charger/Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi EvolutionX) 00:18.57.1
- Jas Mangat (Uganda-Mitsubishi Evolution X) 00:19.25.5
- Randeep Singh/G. Singh (TZ- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X) 00:19.50.3
- Eric Bengi/Tuta Mionki (Subaru N12) 00:20.16.8
- Dilraj Chatthe/Riyaz Ismail (Mitsubishi Evolution X) 00:20.32.4
- Farhaaz Khan/ (Mitsubishi Evolution X) 00:20.39.6