NAIVASHA, Kenya, Apr 25 – Five-time Safari Rally winner Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo has been crowned the 2021 ARC Equator Rally Champion after overcoming 11 grueling stages in his new Minti Motorsports Volkswagen Polo.
Tundo and his longtime partner Tim Jessop clung onto their opening day lead to rack up their career maiden Equator title with a massive 12:08.6 minutes margin over compatriot Tejveer Rai.
Flash timed 02:34:08.8hours ahead of Tajveer who finished second in 02:46:17.4hours. Jas Mangat of Uganda finished third clocking 03:03:32.1 hours.
It was a bitter pill for South African Toyota Etios R5 driver Guy Botterill who was time barred after he was late out of service.
“It’s amazing to get the car back in one peace and good to win always, good to get another notch on my belt, I am super happy because it has been tough, it’s been really hard,” Tundo said after the victory.
He added, “The penultimate stage was terrible because of the rocks but the last one was fan. I am not doing the ARC but for KNRC it is good points, I have never won the Equator rally so that is great for myself and Tim (Jessop), but its early days in the KNRC hopefully COVID-19 allows us to carry on rallying.”
Tundo like other divers were using the rally as a test run their contraptions for the WRC Safari Rally which will use the same route.
“WRC against these cars is a different ball game, it will include professional drivers but in our R5 category I think if the conditions are the same, slippery and rocky, the Europeans and foreigners will have a tough time,” Tundo said.
Tundo dominated all the six stages yesterday while today he won three stages against Onkar Rai’s two.
The three-day rally started on Friday with the shake down followed by Elementaita, Soysambu and Sleeping Warrior stages.
On Sunday, action went to Malewa 1, Loldia 1, Kedong, Malewa 2 and finish off with Loldia 2.
Malewa is 9.71km, Loldia is 11.33km and the longest section of the day is Kedong which is 32.68km and will be done once. All others stages will be done twice.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION-ARC EQUATOR RALLY 2021
1. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (KEN-Volkswagen Polo) 02:34:08.8 3
2. Tejveer Rai/ Gareth Dawe (KEN-Volkswagen Polo) 02:46:17.4
3. Jas Mangat/Kamya Joseph (UG-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:03:32.1
4. Giancarlo Davite/Sylvia Vindevogel (Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:06:39.1
5. Hamza Anwar / Riyaz Ismail (KEN-Subaru Impreza GVB) 03:10:08.3
6. Onkar Rai/Drew Sturrock (KEN-Volkswagen Polo) 03:11:18.5
7. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:13:38.7
8. Mcrae Kimathi/ Shameer Yusuf (KEN-Subaru Impreza) 03:13:51.2
9. Baldev Chager/ Ravi Soni (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:14:28.4
10. Steve Mwangi/ Dennis Mwenda (KEN-Subaru Impreza) 03:15:24.4
11. Nzioka Waita/ Tuta Mionki (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:17:30.
12. Piero Canobbio/James Mwangi (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:17:49.3
13. Evans Kavisi /Absolom Aswani (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10 03:18:20.3
14. Ian Duncan/Tej Sehmi (KEN-Nissan 240RS) 03:20:43.9
15. Eric Bengi/Peter Mutuma (Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:21:37.2
16. Kailesh Chauhan /Tariq Malik (KEN-Ford Escort RS) 03:22:40.8
17. Geoff Mayes/Suzanne Zwager (KEN-Land Rover Tomcat) 03:41:46.7
18. Yasin Nasser/ Ali Katumba (KEN-Subaru Impreza) 04:08:13.8