“Flying Singh” claims maiden Top Fry Classic Safari Rally 2018 title
Three- time former Kenya champion Baldev Singh Chager in a Porsche 911 finally took his first Top Fry Classic Safari Rally victory with a dominant performance, while South African oldie Geoff Bell settled for second place after fighting his way up the leader-board with zest and vigour.
Chager navigated by Ravi Soni had his campaign effectively sewn up when Carl “Flash” Tundo and Ian Duncan ran into mechanical gremlins while also the defending champion, Raaji Bharij failed to master the demanding conditions.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to win when we set out on Thursday in Nanyuki,” confessed Chager, adding: “I knew that my opponents would continue to attack and that a Safari Rally is never over till it’s over.”
It was Chager’s first victory in the Top Fry Rally and was a maiden win for a Porsche on the Menengai Oil Refineries sponsored event.
Chager joins Bharij in the roll of honour, as the second winner of the event.
Raaji had this to say after a bad outing: “Unfortunately another crappy end after a massive effort by the whole team… But we ain’t giving up; see you all at the next one!! Massive thanks to our team, Sammy, Nashon Oreyo, Sam Karangatha, Lionel Sphinx Pereira for a massive effort and faultless service and navigator Rajay Sehmi as always for the privilege,” Bharij said.
Chager who was part of the three car Porsche Kabras team controlled the rally from the first stage proper on Thursday, and has had his race adversaries trailing in his dust.
Tundo’s gremlins allowed Onkar Rai and Bell to close in, but Chager clung that his lead on all through and sealed victory with an emphatic and intelligent drives Monday to win by a massive 24 minutes.
Bell came in second followed by Onkar and Alastair Cavenagh in 3rd and fourth.
Frank Tundo came in fifth in a Triumph followed by Jayant Shah and Aslam Khan in sixth and seventh.
Eighth was Rob Linck, ninth Jonathan Savage and 10th Quentin Savags.
The second event ever of this kind was situated within the Laikipia County on the opening two days and headed to Baringo on the final dash of hair raising thrills.
The Top Fry Classic Safari Rally proved to be bigger and better than 2016’s event, with over 1,500kms of competitive track, running over a 5-day period, through uniquely stunning expanses of Laikipia and Baringo counties.
Other drivers who took part in the event included the legendary Jayant Shah and Aslam.Khan who incidentally are incidentally former Kenya champions.
Two times former Kenya champion Cavenagh savoured a return at the wheel of a Porsche 911 posting some good stage times.
The Top Fry Rally is one of the three events introduced to the 2017 KMSF Motor Spots Calendar with a possibility of running a full championship next year.