SEPTEMBER 15, 2008
A source of embarrassment
The News of the World newspaper may not be popular reading in FIA circles, but it does seem to have developed more of an interest in Formula 1 as a result of the Mosley Scandal and is now hot in pursuit of Belgian Grand Prix steward Surinder Thatthi, claiming that the Tanzanian, who represents Kenya on the FIA World Motor Sport Council, fixed the results of the 2007 Safari Rally.
The newspaper says it has an e-mail from Thatti to the former Kenyan Rally chairman Mark Tilbury, in which Thatthi admits to breaking FIA rules after claims that Mitsubishi driver Asad Anwar had not been properly punished for taking a shortcut. The newspaper quotes an e-mail saying that "internationally we are bound by the FIA rules and the International Sporting Code Article 179b. Right of Review is a lengthy process of application via the FIA and the re-convening of stewards or others being appointed and meeting, costs of which are all ours. The problem of Asad Anwar™s two minutes does not change the international African Rally Championship results so I suggest this result remains. But nationally for the purpose of our Kenyan National Rally Championship we are free to do what we want to ensure that a fair result is obtained. For fairness I would like to suggest we do a manually audit on all the KNRC contenders and obtain a fair result and ensure for the 2007 KNRC we have an actual result."
Tilbury replied that "if the results are wrong then they have to be corrected in all four categories. Also, your explanation of Asad Anwar™s exceptional time on Stage 10 needs more investigation. If the stewards made wrong decisions then these decisions must be corrected. Surely the whole point of the stewards taking over the running of the rally from the organisers is to ensure that the rally is run correctly and fairly. There are already mutterings from most of the foreign entrants about the Kenyans cheating and the results being wrong and they are not going to come back to future rallies because of this. I also hear some of the Kenyan competitors are also unhappy about the results."