NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – Rallying star Baldev Chager increased his chances of clinching a first ever Top Fry Classic Safari Rally title after sustaining his lead on Day 2 in Laikipia County on Good Friday.
Navigated by Ravi Soni, Chager in a Kabras Porsche 911 won the opening long and grueling stage to stay ahead of the pack for the second day running.
Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, who recently equalled Shekhar Mehta’s record of five wins, dipped quite a bit on the first stage but was back in the groove when he won the second stage to salvage his fortunes.
Chager widened his lead with a massive 13minutes over Alastair Cavenagh on the opening stage which was another long drive in Laikipia County.
Cavenagh was incidentally fourth fastest on the first stage, a clear indication that his Porsche 911 will be a car to watch.
Chager, a three-time former Kenya champion, cleared the opening stage in 1:40.43 ahead of Kabras Sugar Racing team-mate siblings Onkar and Tejveer Rai who came in second and third fastest.
Cavenagh, who is driving a Vipingo Ridge Porsche 911, was fourth fastest on the first stage to settle for second as at the opening stage of the day.
The going wasn’t that rosy for Tundo who dipped from second to 17th after returning 23rd fastest which was quite detrimental to his campaign.
Multiple Kenyan champion Ian Duncan restarted the rally after an excruciating Day 1 which saw him run into early gremlins.
-Opening Day 2-
After a grueling run on Friday, the cars had an overnight at Sweetwaters in Nanyuki.
On Saturday, drivers will take a deserved rest after which they will resume action in tomorrow morning.
During the rest day, crews will spend some time trying to repair their machines ahead of the final two legs which will now run in Baringo.
The cars will again overnight at Sweetwaters on Saturday and after the perc ferme out, cars will refuel at Naibor before tackling the 94.63km stage all the way from Naibor to Posta.
The second refuel zone will be situated at Tangalbel. This will precede 66.03km of competitive mileage all the way from Tangible to Loboi. The cars will then pull in at Lake Bogoria Lodge in Baringo for the perc ferme and overnight.
The Top Fry Safari Classic Rally is set to be bigger and better than 2016’s event, with over 1,500kms of competitive track, running over a 5-day period, through uniquely stunning expanses of Northern Kenya.
Other drivers taking part in the event include the legendary Jayant Shah who incidentally is a former three time Kenya champion but based in Tanzania.
Two-time former Kenya champion Cavenagh savored a returnat the wheel of a Porsche 911 posting fifth fastest on the opening stage.
The Top Fry Rally is one of the three events introduced to the 2017 KMSF Motor Spots Calendar with a possibility of running a full championship next year.