Rwanda’s rally ace Rudy Cantanhede is a major doubt for this month’s KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda rally after his name was excluded from the confirmed registered drivers for the second leg of the African rally championship set for April 25-27 in Kampala.
The Rwanda national Champion who had confirmed his participation in the Uganda rally is not among the foreign drivers that have confirmed their participation in the two-day event.
According to a source in Burundi, the Belgium-born driver is reportedly to be in his native country where he went to purchase a new rally car and is expected to return back in a week’s time before the Pearl rally gets underway.
The local automobile body (RAC) president Dismas Kayibanda is optimistic that Cantanhede will return soon in time for the rally.
“Cantanhede wants to take part in the Pearl rally and am convinced he will be back days before the Pearl rally starts,” Kayibanda said recently.
If Cantanhede beats today’s registration deadline, he will then join other continental drivers including Riyaz Kurji, winner of the event in 2005 and 2006, Anwar brothers Azar and Asad (Kenya), Don Smith (Kenya), Yogesh Patel (Kenya), Anwar Pandya (Kenya), Lee Rose (Kenya).
Others are, Randeep Birdi (Tanzania), Japanese Hideaki Miyoshi (Japan), James Whyte (Zimbabwe), Lola Verlaque ‘ Rally Chicks’ (South Africa), Ben Pelser (South Africa) and Muna Singh from Zambia.
The rally will start with a super special stage at Lubiri circuit on April 25, before the second and third legs that will be concentrated in Mityana district.
Meanwhile, Hotel Africana Ltd and IwayAfrica.Com have injected over Shs61 (Frw.18.3 millions) into the KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally 2008.
Co-sponsors include; Sekanyolya Systems Ltd, Fire Masters, Fly 40 and Air Tanzania were also introduced as co-sponsors.
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is the official sponsors of the event to the tune of $40,000.
Entry list drivers include; A. Khan (Ken),A.Pandya (Tanzania), R. Kurji (Kenya),M. Singh (Zambia), Y. Patel (Kenya), J. Whyte (Zimbabwe),M. Hideaki (Japan),B. Widow (Uganda), P. Horsey (Uganda), H. Navraj (Kenya), B. Roberts (Uganda),A. Ashraf (Uganda),E.Katto (Uganda), J.Mangat (Uganda), A. Azar (Kenya), A. Asad (Kenya),D. Smith (Kenya), L. Rose (Kenya), R. Birdi (Tanzania), L. Verlaque (South Africa) and B. Pelser (South Africa).
ARC standings after rd one:
Muna Singh (ZAM) -10 pts
Jas Mangat (UGA) - 8
Lola Verlaque (S.A) - 6
Rudy Cantanhede (RWA) -2
Past Pearl of Africa winners
2007- C. Rautenbach (ZIM)
2006- Riyaz Kurji (UG)
2005- Riyaz Kurji (UG)