Tapio beats Ian by 20 seconds to win maiden Safari


W.Kepher navigated by S.Kalema cruises through spectators stage during the 65th African Rally ...
W.Kepher navigated by S.Kalema cruises through spectators stage during the 65th African Rally championship at Jamhuri Park spectators stage on March 17, 2017. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

Tapio Laukannen won the 65th edition of Kenya’s round of the African Rally Championship (ARC), beating veteran Ian Duncan to the the title by 20 seconds on Saturday at Gicheha Farm, Nakuru.

Tapio, the national champion, who was elevated as the overnight leader had dropped to ninth after getting lost in Menengai but drove his way back to clinch his first ever African title – and a first for a Finnish driver.

“It’s good to have my first win in this championship but for me any win always feels good. Sometimes you make mistakes or problems cost you today I feel great,” Tundo told Citizen Digital.

The former Finnish and British Rally Champion has dominated the sport in Kenya for the last two years, winning several events and claiming the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) title last year.

Carl Tundo who was navigated by Tim Jessop finished third, just over a minute ahead of fourth finisher Onkar Rai.

“Second is a good result but it would have been nicer to be first. I was very slow on the first stage,” Duncan said.

Jaspreet ‘Jassi’ Chatthe who looked set to take one-second overnight lead, finished a further sixth. He was was among several leading drivers who were docked 10 minutes each for defaulting on the rules on Friday.

The drivers were caught on camera using the latest tracking equipment acquired by the Motor Sports Governing Body prior to the start of the Safari Rally.

Provisional Results-65th Safari Rally -Top 15

  1. Tapio Laukkanen/Gavin Laurence (KEN-Subaru) 1h54m12s
  2. Ian Duncan/Amo Slatch (KEN-Evolution X) 1h54m34s
  3. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (KEN-Evolution X) 1h56m18s
  4. Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (KEN-Skoda Fabia) 1h57m01s
  5. Karan Patel (KEN-Evolution X) 2h01m13s
  6. Jassi Chatthe/Gugu Panesar (KEN-Evolution X) 2h02m38s
  7. Quentin Mitchell/Steve Cook (KEN-2h04m54s
  8. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (KEN-Evolution X) 2h05m18s
  9. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (KEN-Skoda Fabia) 2h06m23s
  10. Farhaaz Khan/Keith Henry (KEN) 2h10m21s
  11. Valéry Bukera/Nital Kheita (Burundi-Subaru N12) 2h12m35s
  12. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (KEN-Evolution X) 2h12m51s
  13. Muna Singh Junior/Zunaid Khan (Zambia-Subaru N14) 2h13m37s
  14. Geoff Bell/Tim Challen (RSA-Datsun 240Z) 2h14m15s
  15. Leroy Fomes/Urshilla Gomes (Zambia-Evolution X)

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Story By Alexkinyua
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