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Back to back wins for Tapio

Flying Finn Tapio Laukannen navigated by compatriot Pasi Torma chalked up his second successive Eldoret Rally victory after leading his MRT Racing teammate Manvir Baryan to a 1-2 finish.

Victory in the Western Kenya Motor Club organised round saw Tapio complete an empathic hatrickĀ of wins and indeed his fourth of the season.
But the rocky and technical roads in Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties saw several drivers suffer puncture gremlins.
Rajbir Rai who hinted on hanging his gloves at the end of the season sealed the podium dash after trailing Manvir by 2 minutes 26 seconds.
Manvir took over the lead of the rally by scoring his second fastest stage of the day at the end of CS5 and was seven seconds ahead of Tapio who went on to clinch the remaining four stages of the second loop to pulls through in awesome fashion.
Tapio won 6 of the 9 stages at stake, Manvir two and Chatthe the second.
The rocky terrain proved quite unforgiving to some top drivers including Chager and Ian Duncan who went out on CS1 and CS6 respectively.
Tapio driving a Subaru R4 car clocked 1:26.19 hours to secure his fourth victory of the season after ruling the season opening Kajiado Rally, Wundanyi and Nanyuki in August.
After six rallies, Tapio extended his lead on the Kenya National Rally Championship log by 25 minutes over champion Jassi Chatthe who was time barred after second service.
In an interview, Tapio savoured his win in Eldoret but conceded that it was a tormenting experience prior to victory.
“It was a hard day for us today (yesterday). We got two punctures 10 kilometers before the end of the third. stage and lost quite a bit of time there. On the same stage we broke the rear axle and it was even boring coming back to service. We managed to rebuild the car in the second loop and took it a lot more carefully and it was paying off nicely,” said Tapio.
Manvir savored his best career best podium result.
“This is the best ever result we have had so far since going the sport three years ago. It never came a s a surprise though, we were pushing really hard in the morning and we were lucky that some of the top contenders pucked up punctures,” said Manvir
Chatthe was left to rue the CS4 gremlins which coat him a podium finish.
“It was a good day in the morning. I mean we started really well but towards the end of the fourth stage we damage our front left arm which caused a puncture. We had to stop to change the puncture in the stage and by the time we came back we replaced the arm, got back to the end of the rally only to be told that we were time barred,” said Chatthe.
Rajbir savoured the podium finish for the second year running and this is what he had to say after last service at Chemweno farm.
“It was a good day for us. We were first on the road so we were a bit cautious,” Rajbir said.

1. Tapio Laukannen (Subaru R4) 1h26m19s
2. Manvir Bryan (Ford Fiesta R4) 1h27m11s
3. Rajbir Rai (Ford Fiesta) 1h29m37s
4. Carl Tundo (Ford Fiesta Proto) 1h31m34s
5. Tejveer Rai (Evolution X)

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