Flying Finn, Laukkanen chases fifth win

By samson ateka
Nov 23, 2016
  • Mahesh Halai tackling a section of one of the rallies in Kitengela. (Photo Courtesy)

Rally crews are thrilled that the final round of the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship this Saturday will run exclusively on private land.

But anticipated short rains would mean change of tact on volcanic ash terrain on Soysambu Conservancy and Naivasha’s Aberdare Hills Golf Resort which will host to the designated spectator viewing point.

With the nature of preferred terrain, there is a talk that this will be another Tapio Laukkanen rally with the ‘Flying Finn’ determined to add his name to the Guru roll of honor for the second year running.

Laukkanen is chasing his fifth win of the season after clearing the ground with all his opponents on the season-opening rally of Kajiado, Nanyuki, Eldoret and Wundanyi.

Laukkanen has since set stratospheric standards that local big guns are struggling to match even with ultra modern top-of-the-range machines.

‘The Flying Finn’ – by and large – the most successful driver this season with four wins from seven starts, admitted to a flat-out but cautious approach in an event that will be his last in the crowd pleasing Subaru GVB13.

"I am taking everything just as seriously," Laukkanen said adding: "I will drive sensibly fast on Guru and see how it goes."

Tanzania’s Hari Singh Racing of Dhabi siblings will be making their debut on Kenyan soil with high-tech machines. Rajpal and Gurjit Dhabi have entered the 2015 model of Subaru GVB of which Laukkanen runs a similar 2013 version.

Move to Evolution 9

Laukkanen has been linked to an Evolution 9 R4 contraption and will with effect from Guru sit with Alastair Cavenagh’s co-driver Gavin Laurence.

Ajminder Dhani has entered a Subaru N10 whilst Uganda’s three times former champion Ronald Sebuguzi will be navigated by compatriot Leon Senyange in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

Sebu hopes to make amends in Kenya after retiring the on season-closing Mosac rally in Jinja at the weekend.

Carl "Flash" Tundo has entered a Triumph classic car ostensibly to test-drive for the forthcoming Rift Valley Classic 1000 rally though rumors doing rounds in rallying circles indicate that the multiple Kenya and Safari champion might resort to his Rally Raid Milner R4 ‘monster’.

Former KNRC multiple champion Baldev Singh Chager hopes to make amends after a rather excruciating run on his very first year on the R4 Mitsubishi Evo 10. Chager has on sundry occasions conceded that the former Finland and British titleholder (Laukkanen) is out of this world.

“Every time anyone tries to catch up with him, he pulls away. I don’t really know where his limits are or how much faster he can go from what he is doing. The good thing is he has made us wake up. I think generally everybody has started driving faster just to get closer to Laukkanen more than anything else,” said Chager.

Entry List-KCB Guru Nanak Rally

1. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Triumph), 2. Rajbir Rai/Greg Stead (Ford Fiesta R5), 3. Tapio Laukkanen/Gavin Laurence (Subaru GVB13), 4. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Evolution 10), 5. Jassi Chatthe/Gugu Panesar (Evolution 10), 6. Ian Duncan/Amaar Slatch (Evolution 10), 7. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock (Ford Fiesta R5), 8. Karan Patel/Shameer Yusuf (Mitsubishi Evolution 10), 9. Onkar Singh Rai/ Gareth Dawe (Mitsubishi Evolution 19), 10. Tejveer Rai/Zahir Shah (Mitsubishi Evolution 10), 11. Piero Cannobia/Sylvia Frigo (Evolution 10), 12. Jasmeet Chana/Ravinder Chana (Mitsubishi Evolution 10), 13. Amaanraj Rai/Tauseef Khan (Mitsubishi Evolution10), 14. Farhaaz Khan/ Keith Henrie (Mitsubishi Evolution 10), 15. Dennis Mwenda/Job Njiru (Mitsubishi Evolution 9), 16. Asad Khan/Harshil Limbani (Subaru Impreza GC8), 17. Mahesh Halai/Ketan Halai (Subaru N12), 18. John Nganga/ Edward Njoroge (Subaru), 19. Eric Bengi/Tuta Mionki (Toyota RunX), 20. Tash Tundo/Chantal Louis Young (Subaru N10), 21. Chandrakhant Devji/Julius Mwachuya (Subaru GC8), 22. Sammy Nyorri/Mwangi Waithaka (Toyota RunX), 23. Leonardo Varese/Kigo Kareithi (Toyota Corolla RSI), 24. Alex Lairangi/Tony Gichohi (Toyota Sprinter GT), 25. Hapz Sagoo/Paren Hirani (Subaru N10), 26. Ammar Haq/Victor Okundi (Subaru), 27. Edward Maina/John Nganga (Subaru), 28. Osman Abdullahi/George Mwangi (Subaru N10), 29. Ramesh Vishram/Riyaz Ismail (Ford Escort MK2), 30. Geoff Mayes/Jamie Mactavish (Landover Discovery), 31. Sam Karangatha/Edwartd Ndukui (Subaru Leon) 32. Virdee D. Singh/Riaz Waqqas (Subaru Leon), 33. Minesh Rathod/Norris Ongalo (Evolution X), 34. Rajwinder Jutley/Andreas Kidane (Ford Escort Mk2), 35. Eugene Ngigi/Steve Mbuthia (Subaru), 36. Aakif Virani/Adnan Din (Subaru N16), 37. Izhar Mirza/Kavit Dave (Mitsubishi Evolution 9), 38. Daren Miranda/Wayne Fenerndes (Subaru GC3), 39. Gurjit Singh Dhani/Manmeet Singh (Subaru GVB15-TZ), 40. Rajpal Singh Dhani/Sinder Suddle (Subaru GVB 15-TZ), 41. Ajminder Singh Dhani/Absalom Aswani (Subaru N10-TZ), 42. Ronald Sebuguzi/ Leon Senyange (Mitsubishi Evolution 10 -UG), 43. Jansher Sandhu/Faisal Khan (Mitsubishi Evolution 9).