Carl Tundo and Tim Jessop emerged victorious in the RSC Athi River Rally to take the Kenya National Rally Championship lead from Baldev Chager and Ravi Soni at the weekend.
Tundo, driving a Mitsubishi EvoX clocked 84.44mins ahead of Manvir Baryan and Drew Sturrock driving the Skoda Fabia in a time of 85.18 with Chager and Soni also in a Mitsubishi EvoX finishing off the podium after clocking 85.34.
The wet and dry course was tough and rough but had stages when the drivers could really put their foot down through the light gravel. The Mitsubishi EvoX powered through the tough terrain, not giving in to the rocky conditions on the track to clock the fastest time of the day.
Chager, who enjoyed a one-point lead ahead of Tundo prior to the Athi event now drops to second position on 77 after his third place.
Chager’s Kabras Sugar Racing team-mate Onkar Rai won the opening round of the series in his Nakuru home turf in February while Tundo emerged the winner of the second leg after equaling Shekhar Mehta’s record of five wins on the ARC Safari Rally 2018.
Eric Bengi in a Menengai Cream Subaru Impreza N12 retained third spot on 45 points as Farhaaaz Khan in his Oilibya Racing Evolution 10 Mitsubishi dipped to fourth on 43 points.
“It was a tough day but we braved on. Some of the stages were a bit tricky, rough and short. But all in all, we are happy to maintain our 100 per cent record of finishing every event in the 2018 season.
We are glad to finish seventh despite not feeling well today (Saturday). A big thank you to Keith Henrie for driving us back to the finish from the last stage. It was a good event by the organisers,” said Khan.
Rai, who finished fourth in Athi River, is ranked fifth on 41 points while Manvir has jumped to fifth on 36 points.Athi River was a closely-contested affair as Tundo held the lead with one stage to go.Tension mounted from the start with 21 seconds separating the top three after the second stage.
Nikhil Sachania, the only physically challenged competitor on the series, was happy with his result after coming in ninth overall.“We went well and were happy to finish the rally.
The stages were okay and the car behaved well,” said Sachania.Eldoret’s Western Kenya Motor Club (WKMSC) will host the fifth round of the championship on the weekend of July 7-8.