DAR ES SALAAM’s Tufail Tufail is still perched at the helm of the national driving championship with a staggering 37.5-point gap after the end of Oryx Rally at Highland Estate, Ubena over the weekend.
The sixth round of the African Rally Championship (ARC), Oryx Rally also served as the fifth round of the National Rally Championship (NRC), pushed Tufail further ahead to make him the toughest contender for this year’s driving title.
Tufail has so far bagged 85 points and is 37.5 ahead of his closest challenger Dharam Pandya, whose 37. 5 bonus points awarded to him after winning the Oryx Rally bolstered his race for the championship. Pandya is now placed second in the race for the driving title with 47.5 points.
Third overall is Randeep Birdi who has accumulated 43 points. Prior to the fifth round, Birdi was second in the seeding point standings.
Arusha’s Gurpal is now fourth placed with 40 points after adding ten more in the just ended Oryx Rally.
The Mitsubishi Evo X driver is ahead of his closest challenger Mandeep Singh from Kilimanjaro who has perched 30.5 points. His biggest point reap was in the Oryx Rally where he bagged 22.5 points.
With 50 points up for a grab, there is a big possibility for Tufail to win the championship if win the penultimate round of NRC in Arusha while Pandya, Birdi and Sandhu can be lucky winners if they take top positions in the two remaining rounds.
Pandya can reach 9 7 .5 points if he wins the two rounds while Birdi can garner 93 points and Sandhu 90 points. But for them to win the championship, all depends on Tufail’s performance in the last two rallies of Arusha and Morogoro in October and December this year.
Sixth-placed Ahmed Huwel from Iringa is far from the championship title having gained 25 points. He won all points in Iringa Rally which he won in Ford Proto.
Others with seeding points are Altaf Munge with 22 points, Kelvin Taylor with 21 points, Harinder Deere with 18 points.
But none of them can win the title with two more rallies remaining.