Carl Tundo Press Briefing Statement On KCB Malindi Rally 2014. Page 2

We then finished 5 more sections and one service and realised we had not received a bogey time and I had dropped to 13th. I then went to speak to the CoC and Kmsf marshal about what was happening to which they told me our times stood for that section. I appealed to them that this decision was unfair but they said that it was our decision to stop and that was the position of the organisers. I continued to the end of the rally and then waited for 2-3 hours before the CoC, and Kmsf marshal arrived.
I wrote a complaint to which 21 of the 23 finishers signed and agreed to explaining the events and requesting them to review the decisions made and to give those affected (about 8) a bogey time. The response to this was ‘over my dead body are we going to cancel the section and the times stand’ by the CoC and to add to it all they told me I was disqualified for my actions as pointed out above . I never blocked the road or never told the controller at the end of the section the stage had been cancelled. I have witnesses on this too. The Kmsf steward was present and agreed to the CoC decision. This is where things became heated and I genuinely apologise for this but I felt they were being unreasonable.
A few of us then appealed to other officials and a stewards meeting took place. Later Tim and I were called into HQ and told the DQ had been reversed and a sensible solution to the affected section had been agreed on. Also because of our heated confrontation we would serve a suspended 2 rally ban which would be sent to us in writing in due course.
Then results were posted and immediately before anyone had time for the 30min protest time prize giving started. I and a few other noticed we had been given road penalties and now we were in 5th and not in our correct positions. Tim and I ran back to HQ to query this along with many other drivers who thought they had incorrect results. While we were doing this prize giving took place and we could not receive our prize whether correct or not. Our times were audited again and the correct ones now appeared at a much later stage proving we had actually won the event but at that stage the damage of the actions of the CoC had been done. The kcb sponsors, stakeholders and competitors were extremely upset as the event ceremonies turn into a fiasco.
I would like to now explain the reason for decisions I made during the rally.
1. During the safari rally 2013, exactly the same incident occurred where there was a wedding procession coming towards rally cars. The same CoC told us to drive through the section and we all received a bogey time although later cars were made to race through an already proven dangerous section. A Rwandan crew actually had an accident trying to avoid a public vehicle and damaged his car to where he had to retire. It was the same CoC who made this decision now not to give us a bogey time and to allow other cars race through a section knowing it was dangerous.
2. In nyeri last year being first on the road I ignored an oncoming ambulance and carried on only to hear a fellow competitor had had a very serious head on crash with the same vehicle. You can imagine how I felt with that and I promised not to let it happen again. It is my moral obligation to make sure all other competitors and public are safe in our sport.
3. The reason it took so long for me to get moving again was due to the CoC incompetence to make a decision on the spot as they should do and had to call me back. It was actually me who called him after I felt he had taken too long to make one.
4. If I was genuinely there to disrupt the rally I could have stopped the whole rally causing hours of delays but I followed the CoC instructions exactly once I received them.
I have been rallying for 14 years and never once has my code of conduct or reputation been bought into disrepute. I also believe that the CoC carelessly disregarded my professional opinion on safety especially for other competitors behind me and this is the second time he has allowed cars to race on sections that have already had incidents on. I have no intention of travelling all the way to malindi to do what I love and with sponsors behind me to disrupt a rally that I was winning out of malice. If organisers are not willing to take safety matters seriously then it is our moral obligation as drivers to do so. After all we are the ones that will be effected the most. Surely competitive and public safety is paramount and if 2 experienced drivers who are at the site of an incident like this deem the section dangerous, does that not count for something?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s