Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo navigated by Tim Jessop in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X will be the first one off the ramp as the sixth leg of the 2018 Kenya National Rally Championship zooms off in Kilifi County Saturday.
The Top Fry-sponsored driver will be attempting to kill two birds with one stone as he seeks to win his fourth successive rally of the season at sea level.
He leads the KNRC log on 100points against ‘Flying Singh’ Baldev Chager who despite retiring on the belated third round at Lisa Farm retained the second spot on 71 points.
The rally, cosponsored by KCB and Mombasa Cement Limited will be flagged off at Mombasa Cement Limited farm in Vipingo after which drivers will try out the coast terrain in remote parts of Kilifi.
The cars will traverse Bamba and Ganze regions. which have from time immemorial been synonymous
with the Mombasa Motor Club (MMC) Rally.
Second off the ramp will be Onkar Singh Rai who will be navigated by Gavin Laurence in a Skoda Fabia R5.
Sadly, coast fans will not witness the second R5 Skoda after reigning African champion Manvir Baryan decided to give the coast tour a wide berth.
Manvir is away in London attending to a family function. “I’m not very keen on the KNRC title this season as I will be missing out on two events. We are at the moment committed to recapturing the continental title and we shall be driving on the forthcoming Rally of Tanzania soon,” said Manvir.
Chager who retired on the KMSC leg last month with a 1.30minutes lead has been seeded third ahead of Subaru’s Eric Bengi, Tejveer Rai, Jasmeet Ghana and Farhaaz Khan. Bengi currently tops Group N in front of Farhaaz.
Home driver Izhar Mirza aka Izzy is seeded eighth ahead of veteran Frank Tundo and other two home boys – Ammar Haq and Piero Canobbio.
Ammar currently leads the KNRC Division log ahead of club mate Sohanjeet S. Puee who incidentally tops the S Class category in a Subaru N10. The N10s, which have won several rallies worldwide, are running the local series on expired homologation and as such scoring towards Group S championship.
Sohanjeet will have his pace-notes called by Adnan Din who is a more experienced navigator on the KNRC front having previously co-driven the likes of Navid Khalid, Naushad Kara Lota and Imran Mogul.
“Adnan and I have gotten a lot better together and he is a great guy and we are good friends too outside the cockpit so it makes it a lot easier on events. I did my first event when I sat with Kaif Bagha but sometimes sat with Ahmed Musa when Gurveer Pandhal wasn’t available.”
Prodded to explain his good run on the Kajiado KMSC Rally where he savoured a maiden top 10, Sohan went on: “I really had to push the car to get the result in Kajiado and I am overly glad we are slowly getting faster and faster. I am quite pleased with the top 10 result. The car was perfect apart from some power steering issues which we managed to fix. Kenjoro stage was a simple flat out stage. However, Lisa Farm was a bit technical as it was a 50km stage with long straights hidden ditches and jumps and many twisty parts but all in all I enjoyed both the stages.
“In the Safari we finished 12th and came 11th on RSC Athi and both we were 1st in Group S so we are getting better and better. I’m overly excited to be back home this weekend, so thrills and spills are guaranteed,” Sohan said.