Overall winner Carl Tundo splashed through a river at Soysambu on the opening day of the ARC Equator Rally on Saturday (April 24, 2021). POOL/ NATION
By ELIAS MAKORI, Nation Media Group For ARC Equator Rally
The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage, Hon. Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohamed, has congratulated organisers of the recent ARC Equator Rally (African Rally Championship Equator Rally), saying the successful competition had moved Kenya closer to celebrating the return to the World Rally Championship in June.
The Hon. Cabinet Secretary said the success of the April 23-25 competition was evidence enough that Kenya is ready to host the WRC Safari Rally from June 24-27, with six of the sections from the Equator Rally to be used by the global competition.
Carl Tundo, Navigated by Tim Jessop, won the ARC Equator Rally by a 12-minute margin from second placed Tejveer Rai
The CS thanked His Excellency the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, for spearheading the Safari Rally’s return to the World Rally Championship series after a 19-year hiatus.
President Kenyatta took time to follow the ARC Equator Rally from the Soysambu Competitive Section on Saturday.
The President is also Patron of the WRC Safari Rally.
“His Excellency the President pledged in his pre-election manifesto to have the Safari Rally back onto the World Rally Championship series and he’s done it,” the Cabinet Secretary, who is also a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, said.
“I’d like to thank him for his leadership and support for motorsport and sports in general.
During the three days of competition, just three minor medical incidents were reported and competently managed.
Dr Raj Jutley, the experienced head of the WRC Safari Rally medical team, who also led medical operations for the ARC Equator Rally, was happy with the weekend’s work.
“We had 41 ambulances deployed over three days, each one within 10 minutes, maximum, from any incidents, and all our doctors were trauma trained with one dedicated helicopter at our disposal,” said Dr Jutley who was recently appointed by the Hon. Cabinet Secretary to a consortium of medics to endure Covid-19 compliance among Kenya’s national teams and federations, including those preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The medical team expressed satisfaction with the event’s Covid-19 compliance with the team able to conduct PCR tests with a 15-minute turnaround time.
This year’s ARC Equator Rally was spectator-free as part of the government’s containment measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
Kenya Motor Sports Federation President Phineas Kimathi expressed his confidence that with the government support and following the success of the ARC Equator Rally, Kenya is firmly on track for a successful WRC Safari Rally in June.
“I’d like to thank all the people who have put it together, especially His Excellency the President who personally found time to be part of this event, our Cabinet Secretary Honourable Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Principal Secretary Joe Okudo and the organising team led by Clerk of Course, the Organising Committee, Steering Committee and everyone who has helped put the event together,” Kimathi said at the close of the event.
“Security was fantastic and the police came up in a big way, deploying two helicopters and several police units.
“Medical and Media teams were also perfect with 40 ambulances deployed and a big facility at the Media Centre.”
The now focus shifts, over the next 57 days, to the final preparations for the WRC Safari Rally which will follow the recent round in Croatia, the Portugal rally on May 23 and the Rally Italia on June 6.
Meanwhile, driving VW Polo for the first time in his career, the Tundo, a five-time winner of the Safari Rally, was fastest in all but one of the 13 stages of the first round of the 2021 African Rally Championship series.
“I can’t remember winning a rally by such a big margin of 12 minutes. It was a great event with the right type of stages.” Said Tundo.
It was very unpredictable at times to concentrate with that sort of lead. The car was great to handle and drive.
“It was a big difference between my Evo10 and the Polo. I am sure I will have the same car in the Safari Rally with the help of Joey Ghose of the Minti Motorsports.’’ said Tundo.
ARC Equator Rally 2021 final results:
- Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (KEN-Volkswagen Polo) 02:34:08.8 3
- Tejveer Rai/ Gareth Dawe (KEN-Volkswagen Polo) 02:46:17.4
- Jas Mangat/Kamya Joseph (UG-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:03:32.1
- Giancarlo Davite/Sylvia Vindevogel (Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:06:39.1
- Hamza Anwar / Riyaz Ismail (KEN-Subaru Impreza GVB) 03:10:08.3
- Onkar Rai/Drew Sturrock (KEN-Volkswagen Polo) 03:11:18.5
- Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:13:38.7
- Mcrae Kimathi/ Shameer Yusuf (KEN-Subaru Impreza) 03:13:51.2
- Baldev Chager/ Ravi Soni (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:14:28.4
- Steve Mwangi/ Dennis Mwenda (KEN-Subaru Impreza) 03:15:24.4
- Nzioka Waita/ Tuta Mionki (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:17:30.
- Piero Canobbio/James Mwangi (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:17:49.3
- Evans Kavisi /Absolom Aswani (KEN-Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:18:20.3
- Ian Duncan/Tej Sehmi (KEN-Nissan 240RS) 03:20:43.9
- Eric Bengi/Peter Mutuma (Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 03:21:37.2
- Kailesh Chauhan /Tariq Malik (KEN-Ford Escort RS) 03:22:40.8
- Geoff Mayes/Suzanne Zwager (KEN-Land Rover Tomcat) 03:41:46.7
- Yasin Nasser/ Ali Katumba (KEN-Subaru Impreza) 04:08:13.8
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