Drama unfolded on the second day of the Mini Classic Rally as leader, Tapio Laukannen, was forced down the leaderboard by a failed stub axle on his Porsche 911 as it entered the opening stage of day two.
The incident let Baldev Chager take over the lead in his Porsche 911. The former national rally champion leads the competition as it shifts into its final day stages. Chager is now ahead of the second placed Raaji Bharij by nearly ten minutes. Bharij has apparently resolved the transmission problem with his Porsche 911 and is currently holding onto a safe second place behind Chager.
Ian Duncan, one of the most famous rally drivers in Kenya having won the Safari Rally, East African Safari Classic Rally and the Kenya National Rally Championship titles on several occasions, is in the third place driving a Ford Capri.
Laukannen lost time after limping his classic 911 almost forty kilometres to reach his nearest service crew, which was stationed near Suswa. He is now running fifth overall, a massive 20 mins adrift of the leader.
The Finn’s chances of winning the rally are heavily against him unless mechanical issues hold back the front runners. With just three more stages remaining and a big difference of nearly twenty minutes between him the leader, Laukkannen has to do something special to try and win his first ever Mini Classic Rally.
The top Ford Escort MK2 of Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle is battling it out with a commendable fifth place at the end of the second of the competition.
The final day starts at 8am from Nakuru’s Sarova Woodlands Hotel with three competitive stages. The stages will be through Solai/Mogotio (40 kms), Loboi/Luruk (112 kms) and Spa/Spa (65 kms). The hotel will host the finish of the event.
Story by Abdul Sidi • Photo by Anwar Sidi
Provisional Results End of Day Two:
1. Baldev Chager/Ravi Soni (Porsche 911) 210mins.41.7secs
2. Raaji Bharij/Tej Sehmi (Porsche 911) 220.40.7
3. Ian Duncan/Anthony Nielsen (Ford Capri) 221.34.1
4. Tapio Laukkanen/Gavin Laurence (Porsche 911) 230.10.9
5. Jonathan Somen/Richard Hechle (Ford Escort MK2) 244.29.8
6. Rob Linck/Imran Khan (Porsche 911) 245.06.3
7. Ramesh Vishram/Riyaz Ismail (Ford Escort MK2) 252.31.1
8. Jayant Shah/Arshad Khan (Porsche 911) 253.36.7
9. Hamza Anwar/Shabaz Anwar (Datsun 1600sss) 298.33.1
10. Dinesh Sachania/Feisal Khan (Datsun 180B) 317.54.1
11. Yusuf Pasta/Ahmed Rashid (Ford Escort MK1) 356.34.3