Chatthe seals KNRC title as Tundo wins in Nakuru

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 05, 2021

Newly-crowned African champion Jaspreet Chatthe and his partner Gurdeep Panesar are the new Kenya National Rally drivers’ and navigators’ champions after finishing the penultimate KCB Nakuru Rally in fourth overall position.

Jassi as he is fondly referred to in rallying circles, made history by being the first Kenyan driver to win both the KNRC and the FIA African Rally championship; all in a span of one week.

“I am on cloud nine. The car handled really well on a very demanding course which was mix of everything. Its been really tough competing in two championships. I have been to 6 country and we are excited with a rare double in just seven days,” said Chatthe who will proceed to Madagascar International Rally for the last round of the ARC.

Three times former Kenya Champion Carl “Flash” Tundo achieved his maiden win of the season incidentally on his home rally.

This was Tundo’s first win since last year’s Kiambu Rally after a rather troublesome drive on the Proton S2000 which has suffered reliability gremlins for the past two seasons.

Second overall was Quentin Mitchell in a Skoda Fabia S2000.

Mitchell beat Ian Duncan to the podium dash incidentally by a mere 33seconds. Tundo navigated by multiple KNRC former navigators champion Tim Jessop in Tejveer Rai’s Evolution 10 had his campaign effectively sewn up when ‘Flying Finn’ Tapio Laukkanen retired on the rocky and grueling 50km section at Molosirwa.

Chatthe amasses his maiden KNRC title with an unassailable 144points with Tundo and Tapio tying on second position with 83 points.

Tapio opened a 47 lead over Tundo in the first stage before he was caught out in the rocky terrain.

With Tapio gone, Tundo took over the lead on the second stage before Duncan assumed it in the third section.

Duncan’s spirited run was however stymied by a puncture on the penultimate stage at Molosirwa.

Going into the sixth stage Tundo enjoyed a 1 second cushion over Duncan but the puncture dipped Duncan to third overall.

The rocky and treacherous nature of the gruelling 50km Molosirwa-Mugurin stage proved quite unforgiving on its initial and repeat runs claiming several cars.

It’s in fact the very long stage that ended Tapio’s championship ambitions after he lost the left rear wheel on the second stage and had no chioce but to call it quits at the TC End.

His teammate Manvir Baryan also went out on the long stage with a broken steering arm. Steering woes also saw Rajbir Rai retire on the CS2 stage. Eric Bengi retired on CS7 while leading the 2WD Class.

KNRC standings after Nakuru Rally (round 7) 1. Jassi Chatthe 144 2. Carl Tundo 83 3. Tapio Laukkanen 83 4. Baldev Singh Chager82.5 Prov. Final: 1. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Mitsubishi EVOX) 1:43:34 2. Quentin Mitchell/Thomas Taylor (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1:45:29 3. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Mitsubishi EVOX) 1:46:02 4. Jassi Chatthe/Gugu Panesar (Mitsubishi EVOX) 1:49:59.