Immediate former champion Carl “Flash” Tundo has taken an early lead on the Kenya National Rally Championship log following emphatic victory in the season-opening Guru Nanak Rally today.
Navigated by Tim Jessop Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10, Carl beat defending champion Baldev Chager by a massive 3.15.4minutes to rack up his third career Guru Nanak Rally titled.
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 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 3 points on the Championship log after winning the power stage at SGR section where he beat Chager in stage to second and Flash to third.
Out of the 25 drivers who took part in the event, only 14 managed the demanding terrain.
Among the casualties were Kiran Patel, Eric Bengi, Izar Mirza, Moez Malik, Ramesh Vishram, .Albert Kigen and Geoff Mayes.
Tundo’s navigated Tim Jessop was all smiles: “It’s quite a good feeling starting the season on a high. 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. Going forward we hope to keep it clean, of course with good preparations.”
Chager was happy with second place and this is what he had to say at the finish in Stoni Athi: “I can’t complain, finishing second is such a great feeling. 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.” We had a good fight with Tundo through and through but sadly the two Polos of Tejveer and Onkar had issues with the long grass.’
Third placed 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.
Nakuru will host the next round of the series next month