NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – Immediate former champion Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo has taken an early lead on the Kenya National Rally Championship log following an emphatic victory at the season opening Guru Nanak Rally at Stoni Athi Resort on Sunday.
Navigated by Tim Jessop in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10, Tundo beat defending champion Baldev Chager by a massive 3.15 minutes to rack up his third career Guru Nanak Rally title.
“The route was challenging and we all had lots of issues with the long grass which sucked into radiators and culminated into overheating problems. Guru Nanak Rally is one round in the Championship that everyone would want to win,” Tundo said after the victory.
Meanwhile, Chager was happy with his second place finish.
“We stopped to change a puncture in one of the stages and lost lots of time. Before that we were leading by four seconds from Flash, so it was going to be a nice fun day out but unfortunately, that’s rallying, it’s not over until it’s over,” he stated.
Tundo had his campaign effectively sewn up when Chager suffered puncture gremlins in the second loop of the grassy course. Chager led the rally by 4 seconds from Flash going into the latter stages but settled for second overall position when he hit a rocked and stopped to fix a puncture.
Onkar Rai in a VW Polo R5 wrapped up the podium dash beating ‘old boy’ Ian Duncan to fourth. Duncan drove his ‘monster’ SPV Nissan Pickup navigated by Tej Sehmi.
Onkar earned an extra three points on the Championship log after winning the power stage at the SGR section where he beat Chager in stage to second and Flash to third.
Onkar was left to rue the grassy surface which he felt organisers should have graded the roads.
“It’s quite disappointing to come and go events where the roads aren’t graded. Other than the grass, we had a good run and ran faster when the car didn’t overheat. This year we are going for the Championship and we want to give Baldy and Flash a run a run for their money,” said Onkar.
Out of the 25 drivers who took part in the event, only 14 managed the demanding terrain. Among the casualties were Karan Patel, Eric Bengi, Izar Mirza, Moez Malik, Ramesh Vishram, .Albert Kigen and Geoff Mayes.
Nakuru will host the next round of the series next month.