Voice of Sport

Jas Chatthe roars to Safari Rally victory after ‘Flying Fin’s’ Subaru breaks in forest

JASPREET Chatthe won the Safari Rally on Sunday after a sting in the tail of the event knocked out runaway overnight leader Tapio Laukkanen of Finland.

The Fin limped out of a forest stage in Loldoiga with a rear broken trailing arm and after waiting running late for spares to arrive, threw in the towel; his five minute lead at the start of final Day Three evaporating into thin air in matter of split seconds.

Jassie Chatthe (left) … sting in the tail to upset favourite Tapio Laukkanen

Jassie Chatthe (left) … sting in the tail to upset favourite Tapio Laukkanen

Chatthe took up the leadership but had to withstand pressure from a charging Ian Duncan. Chatthe was fastest through CS16 by three seconds and with one more stage to go he extended the lead over Duncan by 27 seconds. The thrills were about whether Duncan would overhaul the slim lead with a blistering race to the finish but Chatthe held out by a mere 13 seconds to write his name on annals of history as the third Sikh to win the Safari Rally — after Joginder Singh and current Kenya National Rally Champion, Baldev Singh Chager [who finished fourth this time].

The third day of the Safari, with competition around Meru, was full of excitement and massive retirements which saw half the overnight field [53] retire. There were 21 finishers. The wetness proved the morale breaker.

Carl Tundo (left), third and Baldev Chager, fourth

Carl Tundo (left), third and Baldev Chager, fourth

Retirement of the OiLibya/ALS crew of Farhaaz Khan and Riyaz was due to electrical failure in the stage in which also Izar Mirza’s Mitsubishi retired. Quentin Mitchell bowed out of the rally nine kilometres into the forest stage after the rear right suspension broke; luckily he did not roll at a fast right corner, he said.

The all-lady crew of Natasha Tundo and Chantal Young retired with a clutch failure. David Kioni was also out with a broken left front suspension arm.



1. Jaspreet Chatthe/Gurdeep Panesar /Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 3:22.32
2. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch /Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 3:23.25
3. Carl Tundo/ Tim Jessop / Proton Neo Satria s2000) 3:24.28
4. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni /Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 3:24.54
5. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Ford Fiesta R5) 3:27.34
6. Rajbir Rai/Dale Furniss (Ford Fiesta) 3:32.05
7. Jas Mangat/Cedric Buzabo /Mitsubishi Evolution) 3:43.41
8. Amaanraj Rai/Gregory Stead (EVOX) 3:44.03
9. Onkar Rai/Gareth Dawe / Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 3:46.17
10. Alastair Cavenagh/Gavin Laurence /Porsche 911) 3:46.25
11- Azar Anwar/ Julius Ngige /Mitsubishi Evolution 8) 3:49.39
12. Asad Khan/ Mwangi Kioni /Subaru Impreza N10) 3:50.16
13. Dennis Mwenda /Job Njiru /Mitsubishi Evolution 9) 3:52.01
14. Mahesh Halai/ Ketan Halai /Subaru Impreza) 3:53.50
15. Frank Tundo/Mike Borissow /Mitsubishi Evolution 9) 3:57.57
16. Murage Waigwa/Tuta Mionki (Subaru GC8) 3:58.32
17. James Kirimi/Evans Mwenda (GC8) 3:59.10
18. Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan /Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 4:01.33
19. Stephano Rocca/TBA /Datsun 280Z) 4:01.59
20. Taiti Wachira/Mutuma Marimba /Mitsubishi Evolution 6) 4:08.45
21. Eric Bengi/Tony Gikuhi /Toyota Runx) 4:10.43

– Additional reporting by KMSF