Tundo seeded first as Rai gets navigator from UK

By Ben Ahenda: Thursday, October 17th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Sports
Onkar Rai in action during a past rally. [Courtesy]

A few months after unveiling his VW Polo R5 super car at the Mombasa Rally, former Kenya National Rally Championships (KNRC) Division Two champion Onkar Rai has a new navigator for this weekend's KCB Guru Nanak Rally.

The three-time reigning Nakuru Rally winner will have his pace-notes called by Stuart Loudon, a Scottish co-driver competing at the highest level of the sport in the rally that will have KNRC champion Carl 'Flash' Tundo off the ramp.

Loudon completed another successful year co-driving in various rallies across the globe-from the cold and icy stages of Rallye Monte Carlo to the sun drenched roads of Rally Barbados.

Alongside his WRC commitments with Robert Barrable, 2014 saw the pair take on selected WRC events, with their best finish being 3rd overall on The Circuit of Ireland - a great result with stiff competition.

Loudon also finished fourth overall on Rally Barbados with island favourite Paul Bourne in a Ford Focus ‘07 WRC.

Despite having an experienced navigator, Rai expects to face stiff challenge from the defending champion Tundo who is navigated by Tim Jessop in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10.

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Tundo will be followed by Baldev Chager, African champion Manvir Baryan, Rai, Tejveer Rai and Ian Duncan, who will be behind the wheels of his crowd pulling Nissan Hilux pickup.

Apart from the expected showdown between Tundo and Rai, series leader Chager will be hoping to maintain his lead on the KNRC log.

“Team Kabras is busy at the moment getting cars ready for the upcoming event. Evos are more or less done and await tests. Onkar’s VW Polo was a little delayed, but well under way after the hill climb event. 

“Guru Nanak being Guru Nanak, all the Sikh participants want to do well so everyone will be in top form to get the best results. The championship is still wide open but after Guru, it will start to take final shape as the season comes to a close,” Chager said.

Tundo will be going for a repeat of Nanyuki Rally where he swept the ground with all his opponents. He says he’ll be in hot pursuit of the R5 cars of Baryan (Skoda Fabia) and Rai (VW Polo).

“There can only be one strategy at the moment with everyone driving so well. Try to keep up with the R5s. Flat-out is the word for now and I hope I can repeat what I did in Nanyuki Rally,” Tundo said.

The rally will be flagged off outside the KCB Bank branch in Kitengela from 8am on Sunday. Thereafter cars will tackle four stages to be repeated twice. The cars will revolve around SGR and Stony Athi area.

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