NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Jayant Shah of Kenya, the three-time defending champion, held a commanding lead Tuesday in the final stretch of the 1,988-mile Himalayan Rally.

Shah, piloting a Nissan 240RS, had 415 penalty points more than halfway through the fourth and final leg of the six-day race through the foothills of the world's tallest mountain range.

Shah, who had battled back from 11th place after the first leg, took the lead Monday when front-runner Rajiv Khanna of India dropped out with engine trouble.

Australian national champion Ross Dunkerton, driving a turbo-charged Subaru, was in second place with 474 points. Flory Roothaert, the Belgian champion behind the wheel of a Nissan 240RS, stayed in third with 641 points.

Twenty-nine cars, out of an original 68 entries, were expected to cross the finish line in New Delhi Tuesday evening.

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P-PX-10-29-85 0938EST