Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo leads 36 drivers for Nanyuki Rally


Frank Tundo's car being towed. (PHOTO/Courtesy)
Frank Tundo's car being towed. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Four-time Safari Rally champion Carl “Flash” Tundo heads a list of 36 drivers who have confirmed their participation for the KCB Nanyuki Rally set to flag off on Saturday.

Tundo, navigated by long-time partner Tim Jessop, will be the first off the line as he embarks on the second outing in his new Ford Fiesta Pronto which caught fire during the Wundanyi round.

Rajbir Rai will be navigated by Timothy Challen in a Ford Fiesta R5 with Wundanyi Champion ‘Flying Finn’ Tapio Laukannen/Pasi Torma in a Subaru Impreza, Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni and Jaspreet Chatthe/Gurdeep Panesar in Mitsubishi Evo X, rounding off the top five starters.

The fifth round of the series will see the comeback of Reigning Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) Division Two champion Dennis Mwenda in a Mitsubishi Evolution 9, former Two Wheel Drive champion Jasmeet Chana in his new Mitsubishi Evolution X and former Pirelli star Raaji Bharij in a classic Ford Escort MK2.

Mombasa-based driver Paras Pandya will be eyeing to improve on the performance he posted in his previous race after upgrading from a Subaru N10 to a Mitsubishi Evo X purchased from Latvia.

Defending Two-Wheel Drive champion Leonardo Varese is upbeat going into the round and will be trying to shake off the disappointment of the previous stage after he was forced to retire for the first time after ten successive outings.

“We are really looking forward to Nanyuki; it has been good to us in the past. We like the stages, terrain and it is one of our favorite rallies in the championship. After coming from the disappointment in Voi I think we are looking forward to a good result.”

“When you join a rally, you definitely know something eventually will go wrong during the race so unfortunately we damaged our gearbox in Voi. We however replaced it and right now that is water under the bridge,” the four-time rally champion told Citizen Digital.

The rally drivers will tackle the famous Loldaiga and Lengetia private farms before heading to the Batian View spectator stage, which is located on the foothills of Mount Kenya, three times.

“I believe closed stages are much safer nowadays because the risk of encountering boda bodas and pedestrians in the high population areas is too much and at least on this kind of track the rally will be a bit better,” the rally ace added.

His 2WD compatriot, Eric Bengi is hopeful of a win at the end of the season so he can retire gracefully from his category as he looks to move on to a Group N car.

The 23rd seeded driver has acquired a Subaru Impreza N12 formerly owned by Africa Rally Championship leader Don Smith.

“Next season we’ll be changing to a Group N car but for the moment we are sticking to a two wheel drive one. The car is ready and we are testing it in the autocross just to gain some time on it and also understand to drive it,” the self-sponsored speed merchant underscored.

“Our clear plan this season has been to keep out of trouble, stay consistent and most importantly finish as many events as possible because as it stands we have won all the rallies we have managed to finish.

“We are going to keep it competitive just to gain that edge especially on the longer stages where you can gain a lot of advantage. The transport sections are a little bit long and you will definitely wear off your tires much more than necessary but Nanyuki will be a good area to rally hoping they manage to keep the road clear,” he added.

The scrutineering process will be held on Friday at the Sports Arms Hotel in Nanyuki with reconnaissance also expected to take place on the same day.

Nanyuki first featured as a Kenya National Rally Championship event in 1998 when the son of retired President Moi, Jonathan Toroitich, won the event in a Toyota Celica.

 

KCB NANYUKI RALLY 2016 ENTRY LIST

  1. Carl Tundo /Tim Jessop –Ford Fiesta Proto
  2. Rajbir Rai /Timothy Challen- Ford Fiesta
  3. Tapio Laukkanen /Pasi Torma –Subaru Impreza
  4. Baldev Chager /Ravi Soni -Mitsubishi Evol 10
  5. Jaspreet Chatthe/ Gurdeep Panesar -Mitsubishi Evo10
  6. Ian Duncan/TBA -Mitsubishi Evo 10
  7. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock-Ford Fiesta R5
  8. Onkar Rai /Gareth Dawe -Mitsubishi Evolution 10
  9. Tejveer Rai /Zahir Shah -Mitsubishi Evolution 10
  10. Frank Tundo/TBC -Mitsubishi Evolution 9
  11. Jasmeet Chana /Ravinder Chana -Mitsubishi Evo 10
  12. Amaanraj Rai/Tauseef Khan -Mitsubishi Evolution 10
  13. Imran Mogul /Adnan Din -Subaru N12
  14. Farhaaz Khan /Keith Henrie -Mitsubishi Evo 9
  15. Raaji Bharij/Ranjeet Sehmi-Ford Escort MK2
  16. Dennis Mwenda/Job Njiru -Mitsubishi Evolution 9
  17. Steve Mwangi/Johnathan Kosgey-Subaru N10
  18. Jansher Sandhu/ Feisal Khan -Mitsubishi Evolution 9
  19. Asad Khan /Harshil Limbani –Subaru Impreza GC8
  20. Mahesh Halai /Ketan Halai –Subaru Impreza N12
  21. Dilraj Chatthe/Riyaz Ismail -Mitsubishi Evolution 10
  22. John Ng’ang’a /Anthony Njenga – Subaru Impreza N12
  23. Eric Bengi /Tuta Mionki –Toyota Runx
  24. Natasha Tundo /Chantal Young-Subaru Impreza
  25. Taiti Wachira/Joan Lombard-Mitsubishi Evolution 6
  26. Eric Njogu /Tony Kimondo –Subaru IMpreza N10
  27. Chandrakant Devji /Julius Mwachuya – Subaru Impreza GC8
  28. Osman Abdullahi /Evans Mwenda – Subaru Impreza
  29. Sammy Nyorri /James Mwangi –Totota Runx
  30. Leonardo Varese /Kigondu Kareithi –Toyota Corolla
  31. Alex Lairang’i /Anthony Gichohi –Toyota Corolla
  32. David Kioni/Victor Okundi
  33. Edward Maina /Steve Mbuthia –Subaru IMpreza GC8
  34. Josiah Kariuki/John Nganga-Subaru N11
  35. McRae Kimathi /TBA – Subaru Impreza GC8
  36. Sam Karangatha /Edward Ndukui –Subaru Leone

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