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Suhail, Sharpe bag first career Safari Rally titles

SPORTS By Oscar Pilipili | June 12th 2012 | 2 min read

By Oscar Pilipili

Adnan Suhail and Simon Sharpe rejoiced as they racked up their maiden diadems in Diamond Jubilee KCB Safari Rally at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.

Sharpe navigated by Chrispin Kennedy in a Platz won the supplementary Class while Suhail was crowned the 2WD champion.

Driving the ex-Martin Gitata championship Daihatsu hybrid car Suhail and his co-driver Absalom Aswani acknowledged their best career title and promised better displays. “It’s really a momentous occasion for us. Adnan drove really well,” said Aswani.

Defending 2WD champion James Kirimi finished second as Ugandan Jagjit Liddar was third overall. Liddar was the winner of 59th Safari Rally last year. Only 12 out of 17 drivers finished the two-wheel drive.

Nadeem Kana of Mombasa consolidated his 2WD championship lead despite finishing seventh.

“The rally was good. We enjoyed it. But coming into Control Section 2 (CS2) we caught up with Gideon (Kimani) and lost quite some time,” he said.

In CS3 we also caught up with a rally car and ended up loosing time. Nonetheless, the 87km was too tough with rocks and tree logs lying on the route. We had a tyre burst and drove for 3 kilometres to fix it and finished seventh,” said Kana.

Two-time winner Leo Varese managed sixth place. “We had a terrible start to the Safari, broke brake disk and bent the arm,” said Varese.

“In the super special stage, we took a penalty of one minute 30seconds, then day two my fuel pump failed on.  So we lost more time. Lying tenth in the morning we finally had a decent run on the final day of the contest (Sunday) and managed sixth position ahead of Kana and Patrick Kibara on the positive side,” Varese said.

Gurmit Thethy who finished fifth in the 2WD category said: “It was a brilliant event, quite unfortunate that we lost intercom in the first stage and then third gear in the next stage which made us quite slow.

“However, we were able to pull back some time today and if there was another stage available we would have had a podium finish,” said Gurmit.

Casualties in 2WD were the Haraka Mamas Joan Nesbitt and Tamara Jones, Dennis Mwenda, Gideon Kimani, Ugandan Fred Wampamba and David Kioni.

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