Tundo lauds Finn Tapio’s KNRC impact

Action in a previous Nanyuki Rally. PHOTO/Courtesy
Action in a previous Nanyuki Rally. PHOTO/Courtesy

Four-time Safari Rally champion Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo was full of praise for Tapio Laukannen after the Finn beat the homeboys to KCB Nanyuki Rally victory over the weekend.

The former Finland and British Rally Champion who led the Nanyuki Rally from start to finish, now leads the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) with four points ahead of champion Jaspreet Chatthe after five rounds following his second successive triumph.

“He is unbelievably fast and extremely professional at his business. It’s great having him here and maybe if I practice every single day, I might have a chance of beating him. At one point he was in the top 10 in the world so it’s great to have him here,” Tundo told Citizen Digital, tipping the Finn to win this season’s championship.

Tundo compared beating Laukannen at his best to trying to outrun Jamaican sprinter and multiple Olympics and world champion, Usain Bolt, while conceding his presence has given other drivers have something to aspire to.

Navigated by long-time partner Tim Jessop, Tundo who holds the record as the first and only Kenyan to win an Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) event, finished third behind defending champion Chatthe and Laukannen.

The 43-year-old who had to contend with braking problems at some point hoped to have more reliability from his car in the next round.

The Finn dedicated the win to his two-year-old son while the second-placed Chatthe recognized efforts of his team and navigator, Gugu Panesar, saying the outing in Nanyuki had been tough.

Onkai Rai and Baldev Chager finished fourth and fifth with six-time national champion, Ian Duncan finishing sixth.

Nanyuki saw top dogs such Rajbir Rai, Raaji Bharij, Frank Tundo and Leo Varese among others bow out of competition.

KCB Nanyuki Rally Results

  1. Tapio Laukkanen/Passi Torma (Subaru) 1:39.17
    2. Jassi Chatthe/Gugu Panesar (EVOX) 1:41.26
    3. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (EVOX) 1:45.08
    4. Onkar Singh Rai/Gareth Dawe (EVOX) 1:45.32
    5. Baldev Baldev Singh Chager/ Ravi Soni (EVOX) 1:45.40
    6. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (EVOX) 1.45.43
    7. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:46.02
    8. Amaanraj Singh Rai/Tauseef Khan (EVOX) 1:53.08
    9. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (EVOX) 1:54.47
    10. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (EVOX) 1:56.36
    11. John Nganga/Anthony Njenga (Subaru) 1:56.59
    12. Steven Mwangi/Jonathan Kosgey (Subaru) 1:58.23
    13. Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Subaru N12) 1:58.33
    14. Dennis Mwenda/Job Njiru(EVO9) 1:58.49
    15. Jansher Sandhu/James Mwangi (EVO9) 2:03.01
    16. Asad Khan/Harshik Limbani (Subaru) 2:04.01
    17. Eric Bengi/Tuta Mionki(Toyota RunX) 2:06.12
    18. Tash Tundo/Chantal Louise Young (Subaru N10) 2:06.35
    19. Osman Abdullahi/Evans Mwenda (Subaru N10) 2:07.22
    20. Sammy Nyorri/Mwangi Kioni (Toyota RunX) 2:10.26
    21. Alex Lairang’i/ Tony Gichohi(Toyota Sprinter) 2:15.58
    22. Josiah Kariuki/John Ngugi (Subaru) 2:19.00

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Story By Makena Wamatiri
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