In a year filled with adrenaline, passion, and stiff competition, Rwandan motorsport has shown potential to thrive going forward. From the roaring engines to the frenzied crowd,2023 left a statement that the sport has more to offer in the next few years. From winning hosting rights for the 2024 FIA General Assembly to hosting the popular Mountain Gorilla Rally, Times Sport takes you through what transpired in the world of motorsport in 2023. Kigali confirmed as host city for 2024 FIA General Assembly It was a celebration all over the Rwandan motorsport community when the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) on December 8, announced that Kigali will host the 2024 FIA annual general assembly. READ ALSO: Kigali confirmed as host city for 2024 FIA annual assembly The decision was made public during the 2023 FIA Annual General Assemblies in Baku, Azerbaijan. Kalimpinya rises to the occasion It’s been a good year for fast-rising rally driver Queen Kalimpinya as she continues to chase glory in her dream sport which has over the years been dominated by men. It was in 2023 when the former Miss Rwanda finalist attracted the attention of the Motosport world including Formula One super star Sir Lewis Hamilton who via his social media platforms acknowledged her racing journey. READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Kalimpinya ‘overwhelmed’ after Hamilton praise A number of international media agencies reported about Kalimpinya's budding racing journey. On June 14, ‘Females in Motorsport’, a volunteer-run platform, sharing stories and celebrating talent of women in motorsport from those racing to those working behind the scenes, posted a short story of Kalimpinya’s fast rise from a beauty queen to becoming Rwanda’s first ever female rally driver in Rwanda. When joint-record seven-time Formula 1 winner Hamilton, who visited Rwanda in August 2022, read Kalimpinya’s story via the Females in Motorsport Instagram page, he reposted it in support and admiration of the former beauty queen’s passion and dedication to motorsport. She was also among a host of celebrities who named gorillas during the annual gorilla naming ceremony held in Kinigi in September. Patel retains Mountain Gorilla Rally 2023 was another turning point for the annual Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally, the biggest motorsport event on the country’’s calendar when Kenyan driver Karan Patel and his navigator Tauseef Khan retained the race in September racing in their Ford Fiesta RS car. Patel’s victory in Rwanda, the second in a row, was crucial to his journey to becoming an African champion. For the first time, more than 25 drivers competed in the rally from Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and Zambia. From Kigali to Bugesera, Rally enthusiasts witnessed one of the best races in years. Gitega Rally tragedy took Giesen’s life The motorsport world still mourns the sudden death of Rwandan-Belgian Jean Jean Giesen who succumbed to a sudden death while competing in the Gitega Rally in Burundi back in November. This adventurous rally took a tragic turn when Giesen faced an unexpected health issue at the conclusion of a stage in the liaison, ultimately leading to his untimely demise. Despite receiving immediate medical treatment from dedicated staff, the driver could not be saved. His passing was a huge loss to the motorsport community in Burundi and Rwanda. The race had to be suspended indefinitely as a gesture to pay respects to the driver who had been in the sport for over a decade.