Finland’s Tapio Laukkanen scored his first ever hat-trick in Kenya by clinching victory in the KCB Eldoret Rally at the wheels of his familiar Subaru Impreza on Saturday.
Laukkanen’s efforts were almost thwarted after suffering two consecutive punctures and taking the risk of doing the remaining stages without a spare wheel.
The Finn was followed home by Manvir Baryan, who registered his best result in the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) by taking the all-important second place.
Incidentally, Baryan is the official sponsor of the Finnish driver. Under Multiple Carriers, Laukkanen has been able to tackle the whole of the KNRC series since his debut nearly two years ago.
Baryan, driving a Ford Fiesta, was followed by Rajbir Rai in third place in a similar car. Incidentally, the first three out of the four positions were filled by the Ford Fiestas, with Carl Tundo grabbing the fifth position.
TWO ROUNDS TO GO
Jassi Chatthe suffered a major blow in his bid to retain the championship title for the second year running after his Mitsubishi Evo10 was time barred in the fourth stage due to power steering problems. There are only two rounds remaining.
Ian Duncan was among the biggest casualties of the competition after his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10 came to an abrupt end with a blown turbo in the first stage of the rally.
“We could not continue with a damaged turbo though we had a spare one. It would have taken almost two hours to replace it. It is sad we had to pull out so early in the first stage of the day,” said Duncan.
The National Formula Two Class was won by Alex Lairangi in a Toyota Sprinter with its 17th position while his bitter rival, Eric Bengi, followed in 20th place driving a Toyota RunR. Natasha Tundo and Chantal Yound continue to perform well as the only all-female crew after finishing 19th in the competition.
Frigo Silvia proved to be the best-placed female navigator by guiding Conobbio Piero to the seventh place in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10.
KCB ELDORET RALLY PROVISIONAL RESULTS:
1. Tapio Laukannen (Subaru R4) 1h26m19s
2. Manvir Bryan (Ford Fiesta R4) 1h27m11s
3. Rajbir Rai (Ford Fiesta) 1h29m37s
4. Carl Tundo (Ford Fiesta Proto) 1h31m34s
5. Tejveer Rai (Evolution X) 1h33m57s
6. Amaanraj Rai (Evolution X) 1h34m15s
7. Piero Cannobio (Evolution 10) 1h35m16s
8. Jasmeet Chana (Evolution X) 1h35m58s
9. Mahesh Halai (Subaru N12) 1h38m28s
10. Asad Khan Kalulu (Subaru) 1h38m58s
11. Dennis Mwenda (Evolution 9) 1h40m12s
12. Onkar Rai (Evolution X) 1h40m38s
13.Taiti Wachira (Evolution) 1h40m50
14. John Nganga (Subaru) 1h41m10s
15. Kepher Walubi (Evolution) 1h46m10s
16. Osman Abdullahi 1h47m00s
17. Alex Lairangi (Toyota printer GT)
18. Jansher Sandhu (Evolution 9) 1h49m56s
19. Natasha Tundo (Subaru N10) 1h50m40s
20. Eric Bengi (Toyota RunX) 1h52m12s
21. Chandu Devji (Subaru GC8) 1h53m15s
22. Leonardo Varese 1h54m23s
23. Sammy Nyorri (ToyoyaRunX) 2h01m16s
24. Duncan Mubiru (Evolution X) 2h30m04s
1. Baldev Chager
2. Stephen Mwangi
3. Ramesh Vishram
4. Sam Karangatha
5. Jaspreet Chatthe
6. Izhar Mirza
7. Farhaaz Khan
8. Raaji Bharij
9. Ian Duncan
10. Edward Maina
11. Lodhia Miten
12. Umar Khalid