Baldev Chager is the overnight leader of the 2019 Top Fry Classic Rally which rolled off the ramp Wednesday morning at the Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki.
Chager, fresh from winning the Safari Rally in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10, leads by two minutes and 29 seconds despite setting two fastest stages times out of the opening three competitive sections of the Rift Valley Motor and Sports Club competition driving a two-wheel-drive Porsche 911.
Nakuru-based Onkar Rai is second, driving a similar car and Carl Tundo third at the wheels of a Triumph TR7.
South Africa’s Geoff Bell is the fastest foreign driver in the fourth place driving a Datsun 240Z with Kenya-based navigator, Tim Challen. The second day of the four-day competition will start at 8am on Thursday from the Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, going through three more competitive stages via Naibor/Ol Maisor, Mutara/Sesssions and Sessions/Sessions. The total competitive stage distance will be 211.15 kilometres out of the total distance of 387 kilometres. The drivers are tackling three competitive stages each day at an average of 250 kilometres per day.
The final day will bring the competition to a finish with just one long competitive stage of 100 kilometres.
Classic events differ from the normal rounds of the Kenya National Rally Championship with softer rules to help the drivers and cars accomplish the marathon course. Classic drivers can miss a time control or a full day’s competition and rejoin later with a certain penalty. Missing a single time control in a KNRC event automatically disqualifies a crew from the competition.
The cars that are allowed in the Classic Rally are manufactured before 1998 and they must be two-wheel-drive machines with normally aspirated engines.
No turbocharged machines or four-wheel-drive cars are allowed in the rally. Today’s competition has attracted 21 cars ranging from the Triumphs, Porsches, Datsun 240Zs, and Ford Escorts to VW Golfs and Beetles.