REIGNING national rally champion Davite Giancarlo lost ground in his bid to win the 2014 Africa Rally Championship title when his Mistubishi Evo 10 suffered mechanical problems on the last day of the Sasol rally in South Africa.
According to navigator Sylvia Vindevogel, the Rwandan crew lost their second position in the Africa Rally Championship race after suffering two punctures on Saturday.
“We lost our bid in the last gravel stage with a rear tire problem just one kilometre to the end of the rally. Although we managed to go to the service centre and out, it was a little too late,” Vindevogel said before adding, “We are very disappointed not to score any points in the Sasol rally.”
She added that despite the dismal performance, there were a lot of positives to take from the rally.
Prior to Saturday’s final round, Davite and Vindevogel had finished second at Friday’s overnight stop in Nelspruit.
She further added, “If we had kept our second place, we would be having 33 points but we had no luck so we need to fight back in the next rally, and we will.”
The next FIA-ARC Calendar will see drivers heading to Lusaka for the Zambia International Rally from May 16-18.
Last year in the same Sasol Rally, Davite was unfortunate as his clutch failed to dis-engage but luckily finished third still in the Mitsubishi Evo 10. However, the car went on to hinder his winning chances in the subsequent races.
In this year’s Bandama rally, Davite drove his Subaru Impreza N10 ‘Umuleti’ which granted him podium spot but his favourite car would not make it back to Kigali in time for Sasol rally as it is still being shipped from West Africa.
The 2012 drivers’ champion Mohammed Essa of Zambia in a Subaru Impreza, won the second round of the FIA African Rally Championship.
Gary Chaynes and Comas Romain of the Ivory Coast in a Mitsubishi Evo 10 came second. They were the winners of the opening round in Ivory Coast.
Third (+3 min 47sec) were Chatthe Jaspreet Singh of Kenya and David Sihoka of Zambia (Subaru Impreza), ahead of Zambian Kenneth Mukosa and Nash Chisenga in a Subaru Impreza (+1 hr 15 min 7 sec).
As it stands, Davite has dropped to fourth position with 15 points, 28 points behind current Ivorian leader Chaynes. Essa is second with 25 points while Morifere Soumaoro of Ivory Coast is third with 18 points.