Veteran Frank Tundo makes resurgence
One of the few active Safari stalwarts of the 1970s and 80s is back on the driving seat and will among the over 25 drivers enlisted for the weekend’s KCB Nanyuki Rally slated for Laikipia County’s Loldaiga Hills, Ndovu and Batian View on Saturday.
The never-say-never wheat farmer returns to the man and machine game a few days after celebrating his 70th birthday.
Frank, who is also an accomplished rally organiser and a longstanding Clerk of the Course of Nakuru Rally, has over the last 40 years relished returning to the bucket seat time and time again.
Apart from his driving antics, Frank has also nurtured one of Kenya’s greatest driver; his son Carl “Flash”Tundo who went on to equal Shekhar Mehta’s record of five wins on Safari Rally. He builds a track for his kids to hone their skills in Maralal. His daughter Natasha Tundo became one of the few women to win a round of the KNRC after Sylvia King and went on to win the KNRC Division 3 championship.
Frank is among the rally experts who have seen rally technology morph through different guises.
This weekend he will be at it to ruffle feathers behind the wheels of a Ford Fiesta previously driven by his son Flash and will be navigated by Tariq Malik.
Frank is a Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) Division One driver and will be one of the drivers to watch in the non homologated Ford machine categorised in the Group.
His navigator Malik is no stranger to the local rallies having navigated a number of drivers including former Group S. Champion Alasdair Keith.
Frank started his racing career in his early 20s in 1972.
He has driven with several navigators including his daughter Natasha Tundo better known as. Tasha.
Whatever is up his sleeves will be known this weekend when the creme de la creme of the sport embark on the 287km event which will count towards the fifth round of the KCB KNRC.
In the battle for Division One honours, Frank will be up against Coast trio of Ammar”Bushy” Haq, Sohanjeet Singh Puee and Piero Canobbio. Also in Division One mix are John Ng’ang’a of Jungle Racing, Karan Patel in a Subaru Impreza and physically challenged Nikhil Sachania in a hand-controlled Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 SPV machine.
After Friday’s scrutineering and reconnaissance, rally cars will be flagged off outside KCB branch in the town centre on Saturday.
Thereafter which drivers will embark on a gruelling 12.11km transport road section through to Loldaiga Hills where they will tackle a 31.43km stage. The rally traffic will then traverse a 3.58km transport through to CS2 46.15km Ndovu which is the event’s longest stage. The 2.3km third stage at Batian View on the foothills of Mount Kenya is the shortest and the designated spectator viewing point.
The three stages will be repeated twice to make up total distance of 287km of which 159km will be competitive and 127km transport.