Kenya National Rally Champion Carl “Flash” Tundo has won the national series thrice in 2007, 2009 and 2012 but what he has never done though is retain these titles.
However, the Lanet based wheat farmer is hoping to break this jinx this season as he seeks to follow up on his successful 2012 which saw him win his fourth career Safari rally diadem.
With the KNRC title his to lose; Tundo says that his target in 2013 is clearly defined.
“I have to retain my championship. That’s the hardest thing to do. I have yet to do it. I’ve won the Championship three times and I’ve yet to retain it a year after,” said Tundo.
In addition to retaining his title in 2013, Tundo will also be going for his fifth and third consecutive Safari Rally title.
Such will be his gusto and anticipation when the KNRC season revs off on the weekend of January 26th and 27th in Konza and Kajiado.
Speaking after Saturday’s 2012 Annual Motorsport Awards, Tundo staunchly admitted that he has always found his title defenses difficult affair.
Tundo and his navigator Tim Jessop were in a class of their own in 2012 winning six out of the season’s eight rallies.
Wins in the season opening Nyeri rally followed by a win in his home rally in Nakuru were a perfect launching pad for the rest of the season. The pair won the Safari, the rallies
in Nanyuki, Eldoret and the season ending Guru Nanak rally. It is these achievements that saw him feted at the annual motorsport awards, alongside some of the sport’s finest, where he shed some insight into how they achieved it all.
Tundo said “We took a lot of time on the car making sure it was 100% competitive. We had luck obviously which the rallying gods were there and hopefully they are still with me. We’ve learnt how to keep the car on the road and keep going.”
Tundo credits much of their success to numerous individuals who are behind the scenes. They have understood that winning the championship entails keeping their car 100% competitive and finishing as many events as possible. Pressure is a state of mind, he says, which they have learnt to deal with to their advantage.
“If you have the attitude of enjoying yourself, and enjoying what you do, I think the pressure only tells if you are trying too hard or trying to achieve things that you and your heart don’t want or have. For me it’s all about competing and having fun with friends. Fans are a huge motivation without them there wouldn't be a
sport,” Tundo went on.