By: ABDUL SIDI
Kenyan drivers found the going tough as leading contenders were slowed down by mechanical problems in the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally on Tuesday.
Local favourites Alastair Cavenagh and Carl Tundo dropped further after suffering mechanical gremlins in the Arusha suburbs.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Stiq Blomqvist continued to torment the field with another show of power to lead for the past five of six days.
Cavenagh destroyed the rear suspension of his Porsche halfway into the second of the third stage of the day. Mechanics had already started the hard work of repairing the damage by the time of going to the press at Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha, where the cars had converged for an overnight halt.
“I doubt whether the damage can be repaired as the rear end is completely destroyed,” said Cavenagh at the Mount Meru. “Mechanics will be forced to remove the engine and gearbox to reach the damaged parts.
“It does not look encouraging at the moment, but we will wait and see.”
Tundo had similar problems with his Triumph TR7, which is yet do a clean run since its debut six days ago. The driver has dropped to 23rd while his Kenyan counterpart Cavenagh was hanging on to eighth place.
It was encouraging though to see yet another group of top Kenyans, who have consistently performed well, get into the top 10 of the rally at end of day six action.
Rai brothers Tejvir and Onkar, as well as Raaji Bharij, did exceptionally well to keep up with some of the best drivers from Europe and stay in contention for the title.
“There is no problem with the car and I am enjoying myself,” Blomqvist told Nation Sport. “Everything has been fine so far apart minor hitches, which is normal in the rally.”
The Tuthill Porsche Rally Team driver looks invincible as he attempts to win the world famous rally for the first time. A puncture in the last competitive stage of the 2013 edition cost the Swede victory.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION