The ‘man and machine’ battle literally came into the fore as Dalbit Petroleum team of Carl “Flash” Tundo and Tim Jessop summoned their will power and confidence to win their fourth career Safari Rally.
This was witnessed, first hand, when the Kenyan round of FIA African Rally Championship ended at Kenyatta International Conference Centre on Sunday.
It was a win that was dramatic much as it was narrow as the triumphant duo vanquished 1994 WRC Safari winner Ian Duncan by just 15 seconds.
Curiously, it was endurance that was put to scale between the two frontrunners before Tundo proved to be just a cut above the rest before enthusiastic fans who braved a chilly morning to catch the spectacle.
Ian really pushing
Tundo was on cloud nine saying: “I am ecstatic to have won three other Safaris and now to defend my last year win.
“This is fantastic but the old boy Ian was really pushing me today. It’s a small amount (talking about his lead in the championship).
“It’s still close but I am good. It’s been long and tiring - I mean the 87km stage was fairly demanding. Good but demanding.
“The concentration levels have been huge. We had a few sort of teething issues like centre diff not working but other than that she runs smoothly.”
Ian on the other part said: “I am very happy to be here. The three days were certainly very hard. Good old days.
“The only thing now is that we are doing longer stages at special stage speeds. It was a good rally. The car held up well, just.”
Quentin was all smiles and was contented with third overall place: “I am extremely happy. It’s been a long, long rally and really nice to get back here.
“It’s also really nice for our sponsors (Oilibya) so hopefully we have proved to them they have backed the right horse.
“The car definitely needs some work because it took some beating like we did the last stage on three drive shafts.
“I think now that we have the backing we can do testing with the car, more spares during service. Everything now means we can go up a gear and attack harder the rest of the season.”
With an apparently insatiable hunger for success, Duncan set quickest times on all the two stages at stake on Day Two.