Flying Finn Tapio out to seal historic KNRC title


Finn Tapio Laukannen flying to victory in the KCB Eldoret Rally on Saturday. PHOTO/Courtesy
Finn Tapio Laukannen flying to victory in the KCB Eldoret Rally on Saturday. PHOTO/Courtesy

Finish crew comprising Tapio Laukannen and his co-driver Pasi Torma are on course to making history as the first ever foreign Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) titleholders should they win Sunday’s penultimate round at the KCB Kitengela Rally.

The Flying Finn’s staggering form has seen him storm to four successive victories and requires only 22 points from the remaining two outings or top five finishes in the KCB Kitengela and Guru Nanak outings.

Defending champion Jaspreet “Jassi” Chatthen will be hoping to keep Tapio waiting for his maiden title at the outing that has attracted a star- studded cast including youngsters Manvir Baryan and Karan Patel who crashed out in WRC Rally Catalunya of Spain.

Tapio is currently leading on the KNRC standings with 129 points ahead of Jassi who has 100 points while Rajbir Rai is third with 79 points.

Six times champion Ian Duncan – who retired at the Eldoret KCB Rally after a turbo problem in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 – is one among over 10 entries in group N (for homologated cars) will be hoping to renew his rivalry with Kenyan speedsters.

“Caution is key especially in the third stage but hopefully Pasi and I will make history in Kenya, “ Tapio told Citizen Digital.

Second-placed 2WD class driver Alex Lairangi (95) said the route has always favored him but expects a tough battle as he seeks to reel in leader Eric Bengi (100).

“The terrain is quite interesting as there are some areas which are quite fast and others are rocky and rough so it will be a interesting event.“

-Report by Richard Obaga.

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