NAIROBI, July 8 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s Manvir Baryan and his British partner Drew Sturrock might have missed to win the Safari Rally, but the duo have hit the jackpot as the best ranked crew in the battle for the Africa Rally Championship (ARC).
The bragging rights went to Baldev Singh Chager, navigated by Ravi Soni in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, who secured their third career Safari Rally win ahead of rival Carl Tundo, who was navigated by Tim Jessop.
The duo however, are not enlisted in the battle for the ARC. It was third placed Baryan who claimed the maximum points as he opens a wider gap over his closest rival and Zambian Leroy Gomes in the FIA Africa Rally Championship contest.
Baryan’s wait for his maiden Safari rally win continues despite a big success in the rest of rallies across the continent in the ARC. He was disappointed after checking at the final control in the third position.
“That final stage was pathetic and should not have been allowed. Our car sucked in lots of dust until the radiator was blocked. The temperature gauge was reading 130 degrees. We lost over six minutes to clean it by then two cars had overtaken us. No happy at all,” said Baryan.
Baryan had won the season opening Bandama Rallye of Cote d’Ivoire and the Gomes Zambia International Rally.
The 2019 ARC is counting towards FIA African Rally Championship for Drivers and Co-Drivers, FIA ARC Manufacturers Cup and FIA ARC Cup for Drivers and Co-Drivers using 2WD and normally aspirated cars of maximum 1600cc.
Meanwhile, four sets of foreign crews performed commendably well to finish in the Top-10 of the famous Safari rally. They included Leroy Gomes (Zambia), Jassy Singh (Zambia), Giancarlo Devine (Italy) and Yassin Nasser (Uganda).
The event is vying for full WRC status in 2020 and was being observed by some of the most senior officials from the world motor sports body, FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) led by safety delegate Michelle Mouton.