Frank Tundo retires from farming to focus on classic rallying overseas: The Standard Sports
It was a busy Sunday morning when he was busy officiating in one of the dustiest and grueling events in the Kenya National Rally Championships before the cars raced off into the desert.
He wasn’t willing to give us a minute to talk to us, especially when he was tackling the issues of the drivers on the scene when the flags were in progress.
It took almost 20 minutes for the 11 cars that took part in the aforementioned rally to race out into the wilderness.
Immediately after they left, he retired to his coveted seat at the rally headquarters where he was one of the main organizers of the Nakuru/Mogotio rally where we discussed a wide range of rally issues.
And when he opened up, he revealed to us his retirement from farming which was his main source of income while seriously and simultaneously participating in the rally.
And with this ex-veteran Safari Rally driver, Frank Tundo is taking up rallying as a profession in his own right as a septuagenarian.
His deep passion for old machines makes them more interesting than modern, modified or factory-built fast rally vehicles.
His passion for old machines is unstoppable and incomparable!
While most veteran drivers prefer to retire early, the 73-year-old Kenyan rally driver is still in love with motorsport and isn’t ready to leave it any time soon despite having raced several times in his career s spanning five decades.
Tundo started rallying in 1972 in his early twenties at the East African Safari (Rally) before becoming the Safari Rally of the World Rally Championships (WRC).
And the deep passion for old machines from the early 70s to the late 80s in the WRC Safari Rally won’t stop anytime soon as it has extended to the East African Safari Classics Rally and the Global Classics Championships (GCC ).
And as the veteran driver took a stab in the East African Safari Classics Rally this year, it won’t be his last in Kenya or Africa, but his focus is shifting outside the continent.
And with the 2022 World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally scheduled for Naivasha from June 23-26, Tundo will be in Sweden almost simultaneously to prepare for the Swedish Classics Rally before heading to New Zealand for five months. later (November 2022) for Rally New Zealand Classics.
“It is so exciting to compete in such big competitive classic rallies with these old machines. I will continue with them here in Kenya and abroad but for now I have focused on competing overseas “said Tundo. standard sports during the Nakuru/Mogotio rally at the Mogotio cultural center on March 6, 2022.
He said he was ready to seriously commit to classic rallies at international level.
After touring Sweden and New Zealand this year, Tundo will travel to England in November 2023 for the English Classics series.
This was after taking part in two classic rallies in Kenya.
“These classic rallies are very important for my life and that’s why I take them seriously because they could improve my achievements as an experienced rally driver,” he said.
He said the plan to hold two or three classic rallies a year had been affected by the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic.
“If we hadn’t had this pandemic, chances are the Kenya Motorsports Federation (KMSF) could have approved two or three classic rallies on our soil this year,” the retired farmer said.
Tundo was one of the few active Safari mainstays of the 1970s and 80s who raced with five-time Safari Rally champion Shekha Mehta and three-time winner Joginder Singh.
Apart from his driving skills, Tundo also raised one of Kenya’s greatest drivers in the person of his son Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo who also equaled Shekhar Mehta’s record of five Safari Rally wins.
Other members of Tundo’s family, including wife Lyn and daughter Natasha, have always competed in the Kenya National Rally Championships at different times over the past decade.
And as Tundo heads to Europe for a series of classic championships, it will be interesting to see if he will be accompanied by a family member.
However, he later confirmed that he would not be going abroad alone but would have a navigator from his home country.
She will be none other than her daughter Natasha Tundo.
“I will be accompanied by my daughter Natasha, who has always loved motor sports like me and she will be my navigator in the three rallies abroad,” said Tundo.
With a strong interest in motorsport, he said he will organize one or two rallies locally each year to nurture the talents of future drivers.