The Mountains of Rwanda hosted one entertaining rally event dominated by Kenyan drivers. The podium finish on Sunday saw Kenyans, Carl Tundo, Karan Patel and FIA rally star McRae Kimathi enjoy the much-coveted champagne party.
Carl Tundo, once more was the ‘flash’ of the event as his VW Polo was unbeatable in almost all stages; putting his name on the ARC 2021 title. The legendary driver, having won three other rounds of the season, only needed a third-place finish in Rwanda to clinch the title but podium three was never enough for him. He dusted all the other drivers to clock 1:29:42.8 and win both the Rwandan title and the ARC title, with the final round yet to go down in South Africa.
Karan, in a Ford Fiesta R5, was quickest on SS3 but was forced to contend with podium two on Sunday after Tundo’s masterclass performance. He too had one of the best drives of his career as he was second in all but 2 stages of which one he won. He lies fourth in the African Standings, 18 points behind Yasin Naser of Uganda.
FIA Rally Star McRae Kimathi was the highlight of the weekend. The 26 years old Kenyan driver, described by veteran journalist Peter Njenga as a lanky lad, unassuming and a good listener, savored podium 3 in the penultimate round of ARC 2021, an event full of stars. After lying fourth and fifth in some of the stages, he managed to push his Ford Fiesta to third place in the final stage and bag a podium finish, as the youngest driver ever to do so in an ARC Round.
The all-female crew of Maxine Wahome and Lynett Ayuko were untouchable during the weekend. They made the ‘what a man can do a woman can do better’ saying clear as they managed to finish 4th in ARC and win the ARC2 category.
It was a weekend to forget for Toyota Gazoo South Africa, as Guy Botterill in a Toyota Etios, crashed out of the event in SS7. This saw him lose his title hopes race to Carl, with the South African round, his home, to spare. He however still lies second in the African Title table.