NATIONAL RALLY champion Davite Giancarlo and navigator Slyvia Vindevogel are eager to register a bright start in the African rally championship when they take part in the Rallye du Bandama to be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from March 14-16.
Davite returns to Abidjan with his famous Subaru Impreza ‘Umuleti’ which was airlifted by Ethiopian airlines last month.
“We have bigger ambitions of winning the Africa Rally Championship this year. We are ready for the quest with our Subaru Impreza ‘Umuleti’ being in good condition for the race,”
“We thank our sponsors [Cogebanque, Sony Rwanda and Bollore Africa Logistics] who have made it possible for us to ensure that we represent Rwanda in the continental rally,”
“I want to keep my commitment to them and all Rwandans that I will do everything possible to bring the ARC title home and all I can say is we are ready for the battle,” added Giancarlo who arrived in Abidjan on Monday.
The Italian-Rwandan born driver will be eager to hit the podium after he was denied the stage last year following a mechanical hitch 800m to the finish line before finishing third behind winner Jassy Singh and Uganda’s Jas Mangat in continental standings.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the reigning domestic champion will face stiff challenge from seven continental drivers namely Mohammed Essa from Zambia, Ugandan trio of veteran driver Charles Muhangi, Abdu Ssempebwa and Shafik Ssemuju and another Kenyan trio of Jaspreet Singh Chatthe, Manvir Singh Baryan and Asad Anwar.
Other big names lined up for the rally include reigning Ivorian Coast Rally Earth champion Gary Chaynes and Soumahoro Moriféré Faded Bakary.
All Davite will need to do is to ensure that he finishes the race if he is to start his campaign on a good note as he eyes the African crown this year.
The Rallye du Bandama is the first event on the FIA African Rally Championships which takes on a distinctly international flavour as more than 44 entries from South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Rwanda and the United Kingdom prepare to tackle a distance of 500 km, 77 km special stage.
The competition will include three stages; the super special Friday (March 14) while Saturday will be the first step and the second and final stage on Sunday will determine the end of the 40th edition of the Ivorian rally competition.