Elefter wins Mt. Gorilla rally
1. E. Mitraros (Uga) 3:55:14
2. O. Costa (Rwa) 4:08:15
3. F. Wampamba (Uga) 4:23:00
4. F. Cyatangabo (Rwa) 4:45:29
5. Abdu Sempebwa (Uga) 4:46:02
RWANDA’S Olivier Costa was beaten by former national champion Elefter Mitraros, who was driving on a Ugandan license by just over 13 minutes, to win this year’s Mt. Gorilla Rally which climaxed yesterday at PSF grounds in Gikondo.
The Mt. Gorilla rally is the seventh round on the Africa Rally Championship calendar, and it attracted 15 cars that started but only six managed to finish the tough 300km race.
Mitraros, navigated by Paolo Paganin in a Subaru Impreza N4, trailed Costa on the second day on Saturday but launched a brilliant fight back on the final day on Sunday, which traversed Nduba, Kajevuba, Rusasa, Rudogo, Remera and Nyacyonga.
Mitraros previously won the Rwanda national championship in 2002 and 2005 while driving on a Rwandan license before crossing to Uganda.
Costa, navigated by Didier Duquesne in a Subaru Impreza N4, clocked 4:08:15 to finish in second overall position. Another home driver Francois Cyatangabo, navigated by Helga Noella Ntirushwa in a Volkswagen Golf GTI, finished fourth in a time of 4:45:29.
The Ugandan duo of Fred Wampamba, in a Toyota Celica, and Abdu Sempebwa, managed to secure third and fifth positions respectively.
Favourites Davite Giancarlo and Fitidis Christakis suffered disappointing exits on the second day despite dominating the super stage action on Friday.
Giancarlo knocked a tree in Shyorongi, on the Kigali-Rubavu highway, while Fitidis dropped out with mechanical problems.
With the 2012 Africa rally championship set to come to a climax in Madagascar between November 16 and18, Zambia’s Mohammed and his co-driver Greg Stead have been declared winners of the this year’s FIA African rally championship.
Essa clinched the title during last month’s Puma Energy Rally of Tanzania which he led from start to finish, becoming the youngest ARC winner, a position previously held by Conrad Rautenbach.
He accumulated 109 points while his closest competitor, , is on second place with 42 points.
Contact email: bonnie.mugabe[at]newtimes.co.rw