The Star (Nairobi)

30 October 2012

Kenya: Change of Guard

Newly crowned 2012 Kenya National Rally Championship winner Carl 'Flash' Tundo and his father Frank are swapping navigators for the 33rd KCB Guru Nanak Rally planned for November 17-18 around Suswa and Kedong areas.

With the KNRC winners already decided, top drivers have nothing to lose and are looking to have a bit of fun at the event. Tundo will this time around team up with his sister Tash Di Cangio while his dad Frank, a veteran of the Safari and currently in Division Two, will be with his son's co-driver Tim Jessop, incidentally the 2012 KNRC navigators' champion.

This will be the first time Jessop, a four-time KNRC champion--will be navigating a different driver other than 'Flash'--whom he has guided to four Safari Rally outright victories since 2004 in South Coast.

"Yes dad and I are swapping navigators in the Guru Nanak Rally. It will be interesting to see if it makes any difference," joked Flash, adding: "I am not sure navigators do much anyway!"

Tash was equally excited: "I am really excited and scared at the same time. It's amazing that Flash and Tim are giving us this experience. I'm sure ill learn a lot from it."

Meanwhile, Tundo's team-mate Alastair Cavenagh, who is recovering from broken ribs sustained after the Eldoret rally is not sure if he will participate in the event.

"Unless my ribs are a lot better than they are today, there is no way I will be driving in the Guru Nanak," quipped the season's pace- setter Cavenagh.

Ian Duncan on the other hand, will be gunning for a record and fairy tale 12th career victory in the prestigious Guru Nanak Rally, first staged in 1973 and won by Vic Preston Snr. and Bill Parkinson in a Mercedes Benz 250. Duncan won the Guru Nanak four times in a row with Ian Munro between 1986 and 1989.

He won it again in 1995 with Dave Williamson in a Toyota Celica Turbo. Duncan was at it again with another four successive wins between 2000 and 2003 navigated by Coast-based Salim Haji in a Toyota Land Cruiser Pick Up before claiming two other feats with Amaar Slatch in a Toyota Hilux pickup in 2006 and 2007.

Baldev Singh Chager, the 2004 Guru Nanak winner and 2008 KNRC champion hopes to secure his first win of the season in his state-of-the-art Subaru N16.

"The Subaru N16 has proven to be very fast on smooth flowing stages but seems to lack the edge on jumps and extremely rough conditions.

Not many events favoured this make of contraption this year as it was rough and full of big jumps," observed Chager. South Africa-based Lee Rose is the 2011 winner of the Guru Nanak Rally.

STANDINGS AFTER ELDORET

DRIVER

1. Carl Tundo 445

2. Ian Duncan 340

3. Alastair Cavenagh 250

4. Azar Anwar 215

5. Baldev Chager 200

6. Quentin Mitchell 190

7. Jassi Chathe 161

8. Izhar Mirza 146

9.Don Smith 123

10. Onkar S. Rai 122.

NAVIGATORS

1. Tim Jessop 450

2. Amaar Slatch 340

3. Gavin Laurence 250

4. Julius Ngige 228

5. Raju Sehmi 200

6. Gurdeep Panesar 177

7. Bob Kaugi 140

8. Geoff Mayes 136

9. Bella Erskine 135

10. Raju Chager 135.

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