NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – Curtains came down on the “fast and furious” 2018 Kenya National Rally Championship season in Stoni Athi with five-times Safari winner Carl “Flash’ Tundo registering his sixth win of the season on the 39th edition of Multiple Hauliers Guru Nanak Rally.
Having already taken some impressive scalps on Eldoret, RSC, Nanyuki, KMSC and Safari rounds, Tundo and his partner Tim Jessop savored their second career back to back Guru Nanak Rally success as the Sikh Union round marked its 39th edition in Machakos County.
Onkar Rai, winner of the season opening round in Nakuru earlier in the year savored second overall on the season ender and third spot on the KNRC log.
Reigning African Rally Champion Manvir Singh Baryan who was the earlier pacesetter after clearing the ground with all his race adversaries on the first two stages completed the podium dash in a Skoda R5.
Legendary Ian Duncan won the SPV Class in fourth overall position whike the 2015 ARC and KNRC champion Jassi Chatthe, who last raced on Safari 2018, settled for fifth in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
Flash, who sealed the KNRC title on the penultimate Eldoret leg last month, celebrated his most successful season which saw him equal the longstanding Shekhar Mehta’s record of five Safari wins, over and above, the six 2018 wins he chalked up this season.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Baldev Chager and Eric Bengi who kissed the Guru Nanak Rally goodbye following excruciating car gremlins.
-Rare championship double
Although Bengi lost third place (in the final standings) to Onkar Rai, he completed a rare championship double when he added the KNRC Group N title to his trophy cabinet.
Bengi sealed the KNRC Division 1 during last month’s Eldoret leg but had his Group N campaign effectively sewn up when his closest challenger Fazzy Khan decided to give Guru Nanak Rally a wide berth. Like Bengi and his lady partner Tuta Mionki aka Tuts, Tundo and his partner Jessop also claimed a KNRC double after clinching the overall KNRC titles and the B13 Class which Kenya Motor Sports Federation is scrapping effective 2019.
Chager who has been the fastest driver in 2018 alongside teammate Flash, settled for second position on the KNRC log: which he had secured in Eldoret. He also wrapped the B13 Class in second spot behind Safari legend Flash Tundo.
Sarit Shah and Kigo Kareithi beat Daren Miranda and Wayne Fernandez to the KNRC 2WD title.
Daren won the Guru Nanak 2WD title but Sarit’s second in class earned him the coveted title.
For Sarit it was his maiden F2 title while Kigo, who previously navigated Leonardo Varese, had it for the umpteenth time.
The two-wheel tussle was a two horse race pitting Sarit against Daren.
Miranda said: “I didn’t do Eldoret because it coincided with my brother’s wedding and didn’t score points in Nakuru because I drove the group S car. I wasn’t intending on doing 2WD this year, but after selling the N10 after Nakuru, I went back to my old 2WD car.”
Sarit drove the ex-Varese Corolla RSI which was previously driven by David Horsy while Miranda drove the Sprinter GT previously driven by Alex Lairangi and Dennis Mwenda.
Out of 27 starters only 19 survived the demanding course.
Amaanraj Rai’s Ford Fiesta was on fire on CS6 but both the driver and navigator were said to be fine.
The crew were evacuated to the Service Park by a event safety chopper.
Provisional Final Classification
- Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Mitsubishi Evolution) 1h56m06s
2 Onkar Rai/Gavin Laurence (Skoda R5) 1h58m30s
3 Manvir BaryanDrew Sturrock (Skoda R5) 2h00m24s
- Ian Duncan Anthony Nielsen (SPV Nissan Pick Up) 2h03,m12s
5 Jaspreet Chatthe /Gugu Panesar (Mitsubishi Evolution 10)2h03m23s
KNRC FINAL STANDINGS
- Carl Tundo 193
- Baldev Chager 135
- Onkar Rai 100
- Manvir Baryan 96
- Eric Bengi 83
- Farhaaz Khan 72
KNRC 2018 champions
Main Class:Carl Flash Tundo
Division One: Eric Bengi
Division Two: Sohanjeet S. Puee
Division 3: Nikhil Sachania
Group N: Eric Bengi
B13 Class: Carl Tundo
S Class: Sohanjeet Pure
2WD (Formula 2): Sarit Shah
SPV Class: Nikhil Sachania