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Bharij first off the ramp at Top Fry showdown

By Mose Sammy | Mar 29th 2018 | 2 min read

Kenyan rallying ace Raaji Bharij, navigated by Rajay Sehmi in a Porsche 911, will be the first off the ramp as the Top Fry Safari rally starts in Nanyuki, Laikipia County, today.

Bharij, the 2017 Top Fry classic rally champion, seeks to defend his title as he leads seven other Kenyans in the hunt for the top honours in the competition flagged off today by Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.

Hot in Bharij’s chase is newly crowned five-time ARC Safari rally champ, Carl “Flash” Tundo, who drives his Triump TR7 navigated by Tim Jessop. Tundo equaled the late rallying legend Shekar Mehta’s record of five Safari wins a fortnight with 1:55.05 victory.

Thirty seven rally drivers participated in the scrutineering stage held at Chatten Farm along Rumuruti road after it was moved from Sweetwaters.

The five-day duel will see cars manufactured before 1984 traverse Laikipia for three days before moving across to Baringo county. Porsche 911 have dominated the model with six entries on the top-ten start list.

Top Fry Classic Safari Rally is co-sponsored by The Standard Group, Best Whisky, Ol Pejeta conservancy, Bogoria Spa & Resort and the Laikipia & Baringo county governments.

Kabras rally team sensation Onkar Raib, who bolted out of the ARC championship after his car nosedived in an accident that saw his co-driver undergo an operation, is navigated by Despage Morris.

Top seeded international driver Briton John Lloyd, navigated by Andrian Cavenagh, is the first foreign driver to zoom off on eighth position.

Others are Francis Tuthill co-driven by Kenyan Raju Chagger in a Volkswagen Beetle and David Gough co-driven by Nick Stackey in Peugeot 504.

Lola Verlaque co-driven by her father Eddy Verlaque and her sister Megan Verlaque co-driven by her brother Oliver Verlaque in a VW Golf Mark 3, South African-based Kenyan Geoff Bell are also in action.

Daredevil crowd puller Ian Duncan will certainly give everybody a run for their money.  The two-time East African Classic Rally winner  (2009 and 2013) and Kenya National Rally Champion (2017)  will be driving a Ford Mustang and not the Capri that couldn't survive the East Afrcan classic last year.

It was in the Mustang that Duncan conqured the East African event.

Additional reporting: Wambua Sammy

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