Flag-off: Top 5
1. Davite Giancarlo (Rwa)
2. Fitidis Christakis (Uga)
3. Johhny Murengezi (Rwa)
4. Jas Mangat (Uga)
5. Elefter Mitraros (Rwa)
NATIONAL champion Giancarlo Davite and Sylvia Vindevogel have brought back their favourite Subaru Impreza N11 aka ‘Umuletti’ as they vow to stamp authority on the 2013 Mt. Gorilla Rally which flags off today.
The three-day event will ceremoniously kick off today at Gikondo expo grounds, starting at 2pm with a Super Special Stage at Gahanga Quarry Grounds, on the outskirts of the City of Kigali. The stage which is approximately 2.5 Km in length will be completed over two runs, in reverse seeding order.
The 2013 edition of the Mt. Gorilla Rally which has attracted 28 drivers will cover a total distance of 600kms, of which approximately 300kms will be competitive.
There are a total of 14 competitive sections which will be re-run over the course of the rally, the longest of which will be 25kms and the shortest 2.4kms.
After several attempts in the 2013 African Rally Championship rounds, three-time local champion, Davite has dumped the Mistubishi Evo X which he bought this year, but failed to live to its expectations, and sometimes breaking down at crucial moments of the last two rounds in Kenya and Uganda.
“The ARC 2013 is almost over. Miss EvoX didn’t like Africa but she will for fine. Let’s bring out our yellow star, Umuleti and have our best 2013 ride. Mt. Gorilla Rally will just set things back into passion perspective,” Davite’s long-time lady navigator, Vindevogel said yesterday.
Vindevogel said her international rally experience with Davite has given her the opportunity to enjoy Africa’s beauty from north to south.
“But I remain amazed by Rwanda’s beauty once we drive high up the hills overlooking the lakes and volcanoes,” she explained.
Vindevogel noted that she was happy and proud to know that this rally has contributed to “increasing the awareness of how blessed we are for hosting unique species, the mountain gorilla.”
“The 2013 ARC is over for us; however, we want to stand proud and happy to compete in our home event, being ambassadors not only for Rwanda, but for the African Rally Championship,” added Vindevogel whose first international rally experience was in 2000.
Eyes on favourites
The real battle is expected to be between Uganda’s Jas Mangat, who leads the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) and close rival Jassy Singh from Zambia.
Mangat leads the ARC standings with 83 points, 17 points ahead of Singh who still has a good chance to win the African rally title if he beats the Ugandan driver to the podium.
This rally will feature 4 main key battles; Mitsubishi vs Subaru, local drivers vying for the national rally championship points, international champions vying for African Rally Championships points, and the locals vs international champions.
On Saturday (tomorrow), 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.
Elefter Mitraros and Paolo Paganin won last year’s edition in their Subaru Impreza ahead of Olivier Costa in a similar car.