February 17, 2022
On the penultimate day, the rally ran three competitive stages through Taita and Tsavo which saw the pace increase as the leaders started to get the hammer down, but casualties also kept coming –this is proving a very tough rally.
All eyes were on the pace of Patrik Sandell as, in his Tuthill-prepared Porsche 911, he tried to chase down Baldev Chager and Ian Duncan. He duly set fastest time on SS19, ahead of the unclassified Geoff Bell and the ever-aggressive Lee Rose. This resulted in almost 2’20” out of Baldy’s lead who finished behind Ian. SS20 was more of the same with identical podium places and Baldy losing almost another two minutes. The great casualty of the first stages was Raaji Bharij who was on the drive of his life until a gearbox seal failed in SS18, shaking up the top five. This put Piers Daykin into a relatively safe but lonely fourth place.
The last stage of the day saw Philip Kadoorie set his second fastest stage time, leading home Ken Block with Baldy slotting into third. Patrick was so fast yet again that he caught Ian Duncan , who was suffering from overheating, and lost time in Ian’s dust and getting by the Rover. As a result he ended up sixth, ahead of the reigning champion Kris Rosenberger. Now only just over half the starting field remains in classification but there are a lot of not formally classified crews still taking part and setting impressive times, notably Flash Tundo and Geoff Bell but, for victory and final honours this remains a three-way battle.
Prior to the start of the final day, Baldy now has a commanding lead over Ian who is under very real threat from Patrik but we have learned after eight tough days that anything can still happen. Odds are on another Porsche victory but the British-prepared cars have a lot to do to displace the Kenyan car leading the pack.