Voice of Sport

Fin driver Tapio Laukannen wins Kisumu Rally as leading locals suffer casualties

Among notable non-finishers of the event, the opening round of the 2015 Kenyan National Rally Championship [KNRC] were high fliers Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, Ian Duncan and Rajbir Rai


FORMER Finland and British rally champion Tapio Laukkanen in a Subaru GVB13 sensationally won the Kisumu Rally on Saturday. He led virtually from start to finish.

Laukkanen (01:27.12), no stranger to Kenyan soil having trained locals and competed in the 2012 Guru Nanak Rally where he retired while in the lead, this time beat off the challenge of Jas Chatthe (Mitsubishi Evolution) whose total time was 1:28.06.

Impact

The Fin must have put into good effect, the experience of last year’s Kisumu Rally where he retired on CS3 while leading the pack, to make an emphatic impact this time round.

Among notable non-finishers of the event, the opening round of the 2015 Kenyan National Rally Championship [KNRC] were high fliers Carl “Flash” Tundo, Ian Duncan, Alastair Cavenagh and Rajbir Rai.

Cane fields

Nakuru-based Kabras Sugar Racing driver Rajbir Rai was the first driver off the ramp.

Through the sugar cane fields, thrilling battles were a real entertaining season-opener relished by the leading drivers, including Onkar Rai, a former KNRC Division 2 champion who was navigated by Zimbabwean Gareth Dawe in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Dawe has been navigating former Africa Rally Champion Essa Mohammed of Zambia in the continental series.

Manvir Baryan

The leaders gave it a 100 percent attack and no wonder there were casualties. They included Rajbir Rai in the second R5 Ford Fiesta entered (the other was the fourth seeded Manvir Baryan who finished eighth). Ian Duncan in a Nissan Patrol and Carl Tundo in a Proton S2000 also came a cropper. Two-wheel drive defending champion Leonardo Varese also bit the dust.

There were three stages, repeated twice to make up a cumulative competitive mileage of 141.18km and a liaison distance of 228.60km. The longest stage was the 36km Miwani-Chemase stage while the shortest was a 15km stretch at Simba. The third stage was the Nucleus run totalling 20.8km.

The rally was flagged off outside KCB Kisumu branch at 7.00am finishing at Chemase at around 1.40pm.

2015 KISUMU RALLY

1st round 2015 Kenya National Rally Championship

RESULTS (Provisional, final after CS6):

1. Car No. 99. Tapio Laukkanen/Pasi Torma. FIN (Subaru Impreza GVB13 /RC2-R4 Multiple Racing) 01:27.12

2. Car No. 5. Jaspreet Chatthe/Gurdeep Panesar (Mitsubishi Evolution 10/RC2-N4. Team Kibos) 1:28.06

3. Car No. 8: Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe (Mitsubishi Evolution 10/ RC2-N4. Kabras Sugar Team) 1:30.05

4. Car No. 1. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi Evolution 10/RC2-N4. Kabras Sugar Team) 01:31.22

5. Jas Mangat (EVOX) 01:31.53
6. Izhar Mirza (EVO9) 01:34.40
7. Jasmeet Chana (EVO9) 01:36.37
8. Manvir Baryan (Ford Fiesta R5) 01:42.30
9. Jonathan Somen (Ford Escort MK2) 01:43.26
10. Mahesh Halai (Subaru N12B) 01:43.46
11. Asad Khan (Subaru N10) 01:43.48
12. Pavit Kenth (Evo9) 01:45.00
13. Farhaaz Khan (Evo9) 01:45.35
14. Aslam Khan (Porsche 911) 01:49.21
15. Sammy Nyorri (RunX) 01:54.13
16. Dennis Mwenda (Evo9) 01:55.13
17. Jansher Sandhu (Evo9) 01:56.22
18. Jitendra Dhokia (Subaru N10) 01:56.43
19. Gurmit Thethy (VW Golf) 2:00.43
20. Chandrakhant Devji (Subaru gc8) 2:00.59
21. Nikhil Sachania (Mitsubishi Challenger) 2:02.30
22. Raju Sagoo (Toyota Ceres 1600cc) 2:03.33
23. Nadeem Kana (Subaru gc8)

23 finishers

14 casualties:

–  Raaji

–  S. Rocca

–  Tundo

–  Lairang’

–  Al Ghalib

–  Hussein Malik

–  Leo

–   Tej

–   Rajbir

–  Ian Duncan

– Karan

– Savraj

– Bengi

– Additional reporting by Kenya Motor Sports Foundation