Voice of Sport

Chager still leads but drives with caution Sunday, eye over shoulder looking out for chasing Tundo

Heavy casualties on Day Two at the Loldaiga stage, considered by many as the most notorious sections of the rally


BALDEV Chager was on course to retaining his Safari Rally title at the end of the second day in Laikipia.

The final day and 13 remaining stages of the competition are on Sunday. With his rivals struggling on Saturday, Chager stayed calm and survived some of the toughest stages of the competition, including the Loldaiga section which knocked out some of the most experienced drivers.

Ian Duncan, Jaspreet Chatthe, Rajbir Rai, Jas Mangat (Uganda), Asad Anwar and Denis Mwenda retired at the Loldaiga stage, considered by many as the most notorious sections of the rally.

Wheel ripped off

Duncan miscalculated a puncture incident, when he decided to drive on rather than stop and change. The front wheel was ripped off from the body, causing damage to the wire harness, and thus throwing him out the rally he won it when it was a World Rally Championship event in 1994.

Mwenda, the reigning National Formula Two Champion and fresh from winning the class in Uganda last week, finally ran out of luck after his Toyota Corolla stopped with overheating problem.

Electrical problem also knocked out Issa Amwari and Job Njiru. Rai was forced out due to transmission failure while Ugandan Champion Mangat stopped with broken tiered end. Eric Bengi and Nadeem Kana are the only two drivers surviving in the Formula Two Championship.

Rolled

Steve Gacheru rolled his Subaru Impreza in the final spectator stage of the day. Though the car was badly damaged, both drivers were reported to be fine.

Chager said he was looking forward to the final day (Sunday) with caution. “These two days have been great with the car behaving extremely well,” he said.

“I just need to have a clean run tomorrow knowing [Carl] Tundo is also trying hard to catch up,” he added.

Fixed

Tundo, who started Day Two on a bad note after his Proton S2000 had to be pushed out before the problem was fixed, set fastest time in opening stage though he faced further obstacle when a puncture cost him dearly in the following Loldaiga stage dropping him from second to fourth place.

The former Safari Rally winner fought back to reclaim the second place though with a bigger deficit from 21 seconds to over two minutes.

Surviving

Manvir Baryan, one of the only two surviving drivers from the ARC Class, climbed to third place, while Gary Chanyes, the current leader of the overall standings of the African Rally Championship (ARC) is in a favourable eighth place. The Cote D’Ivoire driver can clinch the title if he finishes the event regardless of position

Skoda’s debut in the event continues to glare in the rally with Quentin Mitchell taking the fourth place while former Safari Rally winner Azar Anwar in fifth place.

 62nd SAFARI RALLY, 2014

Provisional results

End of Day 2:

1. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Mitsubishi EVOX) 1:58.17
2. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Proton S2000) 2:00.55
3. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Subaru Impreza) 2:03.18
4. Quentin Mitchell (Skoda Fabia S2000) 2:04.36
5. Azar Anwar/Julius Ngigi (Mitsubishi EVO8) 2:06.17
6. Imran Mogul/Adnan Din (Subaru N10) 2:08.57
7. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (EVOX) 2:10.10
8. Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (EVO9) 2:10.14
9. Gary Chaynes/Romain Comas (Mitsubishi EVOX) 2:10.28
10. Ronak Shah/Riyaz Ismail (Subaru N12) 2:12.12
11. Karan Patel/ (Subaru GC8) 2:12.36
12. Amaanraj Rai/Imran Khan (EVOX) 2:13.20
13. Raaji Bharij/Jasneil Ghataure (EVO9) 2:13.23
14. Mahesh Halai/ (Subaru N12) 2:13.46
15. Steve Mwangi/Steven Nyorri (Subaru N10) 2:14.00
16. Alasdair Keith/Tariq Maliq (Subaru) 2:15.28
17. Ghalib Hajee/ (EVOX) 2:15.49
18. Duncan Mubiru/ (Subaru N16) 2:18.42
19. Steve Gacheru/ (Subaru N10) 2:18.46
20. Jonathan Somen (Ford Escort MK2) 2:21.12
21. Hussein Malik/George Mwangi (EVO6) 2:21.30
22. David Kioni/Mwangi Waithaka (Subaru) 2:22.56
23. Khalfan Athman/Abdulaziz Athman (EVOX) 2:23.29
24. Eric Bengi/ (Toyota RunX) 2:23.30
25. Aslam Khan/ (Porsche 911) 2:23.52
26. Hapz Sagoo/Gurveer Pandhal (Subaru N10) 2:26.11
27. Rob Hellier/Mike Huth (Ford Escort) 2:26.35
28. Ranjit Sehmi/ (Ford) 2:30.43
29. Rashid Kabi/Allan Muhindi (Subaru) 2:30.50
30. Ramesh Vishram/Rohit Bhudia (Ford Escort) 2:33.25
31. Chouhan/ (Land Rover) 2:35.11
32. Don Smith/ (Subaru) 2:35.16
33. Nikhil Sachania/ (Mitsubishi Challenger)
2:35.31
34. Noor Mohammed/Hassan Saleh (Subaru)
2:35.50
35. Chandu Chandrakant/Jonathan Kosgey
(Subaru gc8) 2:38.05
36. Nadeem Kana/ James Mwangi (Subaru)
2:49.08
37. Jonathan Jessel/Linet Ayuko (Land Rover)
3.03.43

–  Additional reporting by KMSF