NAIVASHA, Kenya, Apr 24 – Hussein Malik and Linet Ayuko have become the first casualties of the prestigious ARC Equator Rally after slipping into a ditch on the first loop of Leg 1 on Saturday at the Soysambu stage.
Their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 went off a wet and slippery stretch and landed into a ditch near a narrow river-crossing at Soysambu.
“It was slippery, we went down the ditch while climbing up through the washaway, we were trying to give the car power but it started pulling towards the right at the Soysambu stage that was 3km to the finish,” Malik said.
“I feel disappointed in my driving maybe I would have taken it slower, but we are safe that is what matters, we are trying to get a crane from Nakuru to pull out the car so that we don’t damage it,” disappointed Malik said.
Today’s accident goes down as Malik’s second retirement of the season after KCB Nakuru Rally which ran same WRC Safari stages in February.
The Version 6 Racing driver was left to rue his early exit from the event saying: “Our car fell into a ditch at a slippery section, but we are all fine.”
It was a bitter pill for Malik to swallow as he was hoping to test his Evolution 10 well in time for the WRC Safari slated for June 24-27. Equator is acting as a dry run for the Safari Rally.
Leg 1 of the ARC event revved off from KWS Training Institute and is taking crews through a loop of 3 stages which are being repeated to make u a total competitive mileage of 132.66 and a total Leg 1 distance of 389.30km.
Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo was the fasted through the first run of CS1 Elemetaita, Qualifying stage winner Onkar was trailing Flash by 1.05.2 minutes.