Multiple Kenya National Rally Championships winner Baldev Chager yesterday braved the scorching sun and dusty conditions to extend his lead by seven minutes at the ongoing East African Safari Classic Rally in Amboseli.
The Kabras Racing speedster clocked 11:19:05.4 to stay put at the top for the fifth day running with his Porshe 911.
Minti Motorsport and Safari Rally legend, Ian Duncan jumped to second on 11:26:27.2 closing in on the leader.
Duncan eclipsed dark horse Patrik Sandell (11:37:50.2) of Sweden who ended Day 6 in fourth after encountering mechanical gremlins in the first control.
Kenya’s Piers Daykin, navigated by Pierre Arries of South Africa, landed in third for the first time since the race was flagged off last Thursday.
Defending champion Kris Rosenberger dropped from fourth to tenth after having a rough day that saw his Porsche 911 get stuck in a wash away with a little twist up.
Raaji Bharij of Kenya and his compatriot Lee Rose were the greatest beneficiaries of the day.
Bharij moved from seventh to fifth as Rose moved five places to sixth.
American social media rally sensation, Ken Block, had a free-fall to 27th after he was slapped with a two hour penalty by the organisers for breaching the rules on Day 4.
Kailesh Chauhan of Kenya and his navigator Tariq Malik, while driving a Ford Escort RS, rolled in Stage 14.
An emergency chopper was dispatched to the scene where the duo was examined and medics confirmed they were out of danger.
Jonathan Somen and Richard Hechle suffered two punctures in Stage 14.
“The roads were fantastic in Stage 13 and 15. It was flowing; no traffic, no animal no population.
“Nothing compared to what we have gone through in the past three days,” Chager told Standard Sports.
“Thankfully, it was a good day for my team. We can’t complain. I’m looking forward to the next three days with great hope.
“Although I’m on the lead, I’m not taking chances because three days is still along period,” Chager said.
Chager thanked his team for doing an amazing job to keep the car together.
“They are giving me confidence in the work they do, they have shown they know where we are headed,” he said. “The roads were good today but if you make a silly mistake like us, you are punished,” Rosenberger said.