Tundo to ‘Flash’ his beast at the Equator Rally

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 00:00 |
Carl ‘Flash ‘ Tundo in a Ford Fiesta Proto during the Aberdare hill climb in August, 2017. Photo/PD/ERIC SANTOS

Edwin Otieno

Safari legend Carl “Flash” Tundo is set to make his R5 debut at this week’s FIA ARC Equator Rally slated for the Great Rift Valley area and shoes of Lake Naivasha on Saturday and Sunday.

Tundo, who has been running a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10-R4 and had a brief stint with a Ford Fiesta Proto in 2017, will be upgrading to one of the seven R5 super cars enlisted for the event.

The VW Polo R5 car was to be driven by the Oman-based British driver Pratul Ghose who has instead opted out due to logistical challenges.

Tundo’s new drive is something akin to the “Monsters” his teammates Tejveer and Onkar Rai are currently running on Kenyan soil.

Ghose made the announcement on his Minti Motorsport Facebook page, saying: “With the prevailing global Covid-19 pandemic, Minti Motorsport, a team made up of members from across the world are finding it very difficult to ‘assemble’ in Kenya for the forthcoming ARC and WRC Safari rallies.

Restrictions both from home countries like Oman and UK, to name a few, and the uncertainty are causing havoc logistically.”

“Minti Motorsport have however gone local again to continue to support our sport during these challenging times and we are proud to announce that Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo will be driving our VW Polo R5 for the Equator ARC Rally and WRC Safari Rally.”

“We would like to thank Kenya Motor Sport Fédération for their support in assisting our team. 

The crew change remains pending FIA approval.”

What this means is that Minti Motorsport will have two cars running in Kenya this season, the historic Nissan 240RS which will be driven by Ian Duncan and the VW Polo R5 which will now be driven by Flash Tundo.

Tundo has won the Safari five times in the ARC days while Duncan emerged the winner in the WRC Kenyan edition of the event in 1994 navigated by Dave Williamson from Mombasa.

 Equator extravaganza will use six stages from the grueling WRC Safari route itinerary.The six are Elementaita, Soysambu, Sleeping Warrior, Loldia, Malewa and Kedong.

WRC Safari stages  omitted from Equator’s two day schedule are Kasarani Super Special Stage (SSS), Oserian and Hell’s Gate (Wolf Power Stage).

Clerk of the course Gurvir Bhabra explained: “Equator being a two-day event, we really don’t have so much mileage to exhaust the Safari Rally route.

We will run a qualifying stage on Friday that should give us the starters for Day One on Saturday.

Friday’s program begins at 0800 with  Free Practise and Qualifying at Ndulele, Naivasha.

At 1237, the first car will go into Parc Ferme after qualifying at KWSTI, Naivasha.

From 1530 onwards, the cars head  to the Start Parc Ferme at KWSTI, Naivasha. Action proper is Saturday and Sunday.”

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