THE 7th round of the Africa Rally Championship, Mountain Gorilla Rally has received a sponsorship boost worth $12000 (Rwf. 7.8 millions) from telecommunications Company, Tigo Rwanda.
While confirming the development, to Times Sport yesterday, Rwanda Automobile Club chairman Christian Gakwaya expressed appreciation to Tigo Rwanda for their support toward the event, adding that the sponsorship will make the rally a success.
“With support from Tigo Rwanda, we hope to once again organise a successful event which will attract many foreign drivers,” added Gakwaya.
According to Gakwaya, Tigo Rwanda gave the Mountain Gorilla Rally organisers $9000 in cash to go into the organisation of the event while $3000 will be offered in services ranging from providing telecommunication amenities such as internet boost, tracking systems and promotional materials.
On top of that, the opening stage will be named Tigo Super Stage which will be held in Gahanga on Friday.
The organisers have also sought sponsorship from the Sports ministry, SN Brussels, Engen and Private Sector Federation (PSF).
Meanwhile, 28 drivers from Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Zambia have confirmed their participation after beating the Monday entry deadline.
The surge for the 2013 African rally championship title is led by Uganda’s Jas Mangat, Zambians Essa Mohammad and Jassy Singh and Rwanda’s national champion Giancarlo Davite.
Mangat currently leads the ARC standings with 83 points and just needs to win the Mountain Gorilla Rally to claim his first ever continental championship. Nevertheless, he may be crowned champion with the Madagascar Rally to go in case he is beaten in the Rwanda event.
He faces stiff competition from second placed Jassy Singh (66) who is ready to take advantage incase Mangat fails to complete.
Defending African Rally Champion Mohammed Essa pulled out of the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla rally after his car developed a rear suspension fault that saw him bow out of the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally.
Besides Mangat, Uganda has a large list of drivers determined to leave a mark. They include Christakis Fitidis, Edson Mungyereza, Jonas Kansiime, Omar Mayanja, Patrick Kiwewa, Patrick Mugisha, Ismail Ortega, Fred Wampamba, Abdul Sempebwa and Abbas Bukenya.
Kenya will be represented by Helen Shiri while Abbas Mohammed will lead Burundi’s quest for the title.
Since Mountain Gorilla Rally accounts as the fifth edition on the national rally championship, seven local drivers are ready to battle it out against Davite for the title.
They include; Johhny Murengezi, Elefter Mitraros, Claude Kwizera, Mayaka Felekani, Janvier Mutuga, Genese Semana and Ange Cyatangabo respectively.
The highly anticipated three-day 616.5km event kicks off at the Gikondo Expo Ground on Friday with a Tigo Super Special Stage in Gahanga.
On Saturday, drivers traverse nine competitive sections driven three times from Muhanda to Nduba and Mukoto to Nduba on Sunday which will have six competitive sections driven two times.