NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Carl “Flash” Tundo navigated by Tim Jessop in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X won the 66th edition of the Safari Rally in the Great Rift Valley region to equal Shekhar Mehta’s record of five wins.
Shekhar one of the greatest Safari drivers won the event in 1973, 79, 80, 81 and 82 during the World Rally Championship days while Tundo won it in 2004 in Mombasa, 2009,2011, 2012 and 2018 after the event had been relegated to African Rally Championship (ARC) status.
Tundo has achieved all the five wins with Jessop on his navigator’s seat.
And the three times former Kenya champions (Tundo and Jessop) did it in bravado after leading the second round of the 2018 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) from start to finish.
Flash as is he fondly referred to as displayed awesome skills on flash floods to rack up the most coveted racing crown in the country.
He clocked 1:55.05hours to beat Baldev Singh Chager of Kabras Sugar Racing to second as three times Ugandan champion Jas Mangat seals the podium dash.
Chager and Mangat moved up on the leaderboard after the second Skoda Fabia R5 of Onkar Rai and Gareth Dawe was involved in an accident.
Both Onkar and Gareth were airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment although the latter was reportedly unconscious after their Skoda nosedived on the last section.
Onkar’s father Jaswant Rai was at the scene of the accident when his team was being airlifted by the event’s safety chopper.
Tundo savored the fairy tale success. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. We are so chuffed with the victory but really sorry about Onkar’s accident,” said Tundo.
Randeep Singh of Tanzania also savored his career best Safari finish after returning his Evolution X machine in fourth overall place.
Randeep was happy with the position and had this to say: “It was such a though rally and we are happy to be back in one piece.”
Kenya’s Menengai Cream duo of Eric Bengi and Tuta Mionki also registered their career best finish on Safari which was also the second round of the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC)
“Due to the flash floods we too it really easy and pushed where we could. But quite a shame that Onkar had to exit with an accident. We wish him and his navigator quite recovery,” said Bengi who is the 2016 KNRC Two Wheel Drive Champion.
Bengi’s was chuffed that his Subaru Impreza N12 was now getting reliable after a series of retirements last year.
“We have really worked to improve onntje reliability of the car and I’m glad the results are now coming through,” said Bengi whose female navigator Tuta WS equally elated .
Farhaaz Khan of Kenya settled for sixth place.
“Yesterday (Saturday) was good day for us. We had an incident in CS 6 where as we were victims of stone throwing. Luckily we managed to make us to service and finish the day in 8th overall,” Khan said.
“Very happy with what we have achieved thus far. We pushed constantly on the last day today (yesterday) and it paid off.”
“Well done to the service crew for replacing the windscreen at the overnight parc ferme of day two to enable us to continue today (yesterday),” said Khan.
Duncan Mubiru of Uganda was happy with seventh place while Mahesh Halai of Kenya took 8th.
The rally culminated at the Sopa Lodge in Naivasha which was the the event’s service, perc ferme and rally headquarters.
Day three yesterday saw the crews repeat Kedong which is directly opposite Sopa Lodge.
SAFARI RALLY 2018 PROVISIONAL RESULTS
1.Carl Tundo /Tim Jassop 1:55:05
2.Baldev Chager/Ravi soni 2:04:34
3.Jas Mangat/Joseph Kamya 2:05:27
4.Randeep Singh/Gurvinder Singh 2:06:19
5.Eric Benji /Tuta Mionki 2:07:25
6.Farhaz Khan/Karshif Shaikh 2:09:48
7.Duncan Mubiru /Musa Nsubuga 2:14:38
8.Mahesh Halai /Katan Halai 2:20:19
9.Arkif Virani/Azhar Bhatti 2:21:56
10.Ammar Haq/Victor Okudi 2:22:17
11.Nikhil Sacharia/Arkif Khan 2:30:25
12.Sohanjet Pure/Adnan Din 2:33:34
13.Minesh Rathod/Shamer Yusuf 2:41:47
14.Richard Arrowsmith/Roger cmiowood 2:42:38
15.Edward Maina/John Ngugi 2:44:13
16.Geoff Mayes/Mactavish Jamie 2:44:58
17.Izhar Mirza/Kevit Dave 2:45:22
18.Matt Shinnors/Catherine Shinnors 2:45:48
19.Imraan Khan /Thabit Khadwala 2:45:54
20.Pierro Cannobio /Sylivia Frigo 2:53:30
21.Daren Miranda/Wyne Fernandes 2:54:50
22.Moez Malik/Steve Njenga 3:05:24
23.Sarit Shah/haria Shah 3:17:18