Four-time winner of the Kenya’s premiere event Carl Tundo is the overnight leader of the 2019 KCB Safari Rally as the World’s famous round of the competition heads for the action on the Day Two of the programme Saturday morning.
Former winners of the event, Baldev Chager and Ravi Soni finished in the 10th place at the end of 4.5km spectator stage.
"We were slowed down by the dust from Onkar Rai’s car. We actually stopped briefly before we continued with the competition. Luckily, no other problem. Action starts tomorrow (today)," Soni told Nation Sport.
Zambia’s Leroy Gomes was the best-placed foreign driver in second place, driving a Ford Fiesta with his wife Ushlla Gomes as his navigator.
For some drivers, transport section from Nairobi to Sopa Lodge was one of the most uncomfortable stretches in a rally.
“It was one of the longest stages to drive on transport. 150kms in a rally on transport section is not one of the best funs seated in a rally car. It was a rough ride,” said one senior driver.
The distance was forced upon the organisers after the cancellation of the second competitive stage.
Jonathan Somen and Richard Hechle spun their Ford Escort MKII at the Kasarani Super Special Stage on stage. Luckily both drivers were unhurt and are still running in the competition.
The second stage will start at 7am from the Sopa Lodge in Naivasha before tackling three competitive stages that will be repeated twice.
Cars will enter the first competitive stage through Soysambu at 8.51am followed by Elementaita at 9.29am and Sleeping Warrior at 10.07am respectively.
These stages will be done again at 1.55pm, 2.33pm and 3.11pm before returning to Sopa Lodge for an overnight rest halt.
The Safari was part of the WRC until 2002 when it was scrapped off the calendar due to financial problems and poor organisation. It has been part of the African Rally Championship (ARC) since 2003.
However, the Kenyan government is trying to ensure the rally is restored to its WRC status. And there is huge hope in that regard with all signs showing that it could make a return to the WRC in 2020.
Prior to the start of the big event, President Uhuru Kenyatta presented a cheque of Sh440 million to Phineas Kimathi, the CEO of the Safari Rally WRC Project as part of the deal to help Kenya regain the World Rally Championship status for the 2020 season.
Provisional Results SS1:
1. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 03.56 mins
2. Leroy Gomes/Urshlla Gomes (Zambia/Ford Fiesta) 3.59.6
3. Onkar Rai/Dawe Gareth (Kenya/Skoda Fabia) 3.59.7
4. Jassy Singh/Sajid Khan (Zambia/ Subaru Impreza) 4.00.1
5. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Kenya/Skoda Fabia) 4.00.3
6. Tejvir Rai/Gavin Laurence (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 4.01.3
7. Ian Duncan/Anthony Nielson (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 4.03.0
8. Giancarlo Devine/Sylvia Vindevogel (Rwanda/Mitsubishi Lancer) 4.09.0
9. Ronald Ssebaguzi/Leon Ssenyange (Uganda/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 4.09.4
10. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.09.8
11. Eric Bengi/Tuta Mionki (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.12.1
12. Izhar Mirza/Kavit Dave (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.12.9
13. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer) 04.13.3
14. Yassin Nasser/Ali Katumba (Uganda/Subaru Impreza) 04.13.5
15. Ammar Haq/Victor Okundi (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.15.7
16. Duncan Mubiru/Musa Nsubuga (Uganda/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.17.8
17. Paras Pandya/Falgun Pandya (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.20.8
18. Karan Patel/James Mwangi (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.21.4
19. Sohanjeet Puee/Adnan Din (Kenya/Subaru Impreza N10) 04.21.7
20. Lovejyot Singh Kahlon/Harshil Limbani (Kenya/Subaru Impreza) 04.21.8
21. McRae Kimathi/Evan Mwenda (Kenya/Subaru Impreza) 04.23.0
22. Nikhil Sachania/Deep Patel (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.25.4
23. Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.26.3
24. KepherWalubi/Anthony Mugammbwa (Uganda/Mitsubishi Lancer) 04.27.6
25. Ken Nteere/Edward Ndukui (Kenya/Subaru Impreza) 04.27.9
26. John Nganga/Denus Mwanda (Kenya/Subaru Impreza) 04.28.1
27. Christakis Fitidis/Veer Dadar (Tanzania/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.31.7
28. Hussein Malik/Linet Ayuko (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.39.6
29. Waita Nzioka/Laban Cliff (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 04.39.7
30. Issa Amwari/Job Njiru (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.44.9
31. Lyimo Emmanuel/Ali Mustafa (Tanzania/Subaru Impreza)
32. Ken Kamau/Absolom Aswani (Kenya/Subaru Impreza)
33. Abdul Kateete/Rahma Mohamed (Tanzania/Subaru Impreza) 04.50.1
34. Minesh Rathod/Shameer Yusuf (Kenya/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10) 04.50.2
35. Aakif Virani/Azhar Bhatti (Kenya/Subaru Impreza VAB)
36. Kailesh Chouhan/Tariq Malik (Kenya/Ford Escort)
37. Hardev Sira/Sinder Sudle (Kenya/Ford Escort)
38. Geofrey Nsereko/JB Musisi (Uganda/Toyota Runx)
39. David Kioni/Henry Nyoike (Kenya/Subaru Impreza)
40. Geoff Mayes/ Suzanna Zwager (Land Rover)
41. Daren Miranda/Wayne Fernandes (Kenya/Toyota Sprinter 2wd)
42. Mughal Adil/Hamid Zaib (Kenya/Subaru Impreza)
43. John Lloyd/Quentin Mitchel (UK/ Ford Escort)
44. Leo Varese/Kigo Kareithi (Kenya/Toyota Runx)
45. Edward Maina/Edward Njoroge (Kenya/Subaru Impreza N10)
46. Moez Malik/Steven Njenga (Kenya/Subaru Impreza)
47. Kirit Rajput/Kashif Sheikh (Kenya/BMW 3251)
48. Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle (Kenya/Ford Escort Mark11)