AFTER a lot of preparation and work behind the scenes, rally drivers and their machines get down to serious business this afternoon when the much-awaited KCB Mountain Gorilla rally dusts offs.
The rally gets underway with a 2.4km Super Special Stage (SSS) at Gahanga quarry- Gikondo.
On Saturday, drivers head north where they start off with a very demanding 62.90km competitive section from Nzove – Kirenge before winding up with a 36km stretch from Mukoto – Nyacyonga. Seven competitive sections are programmed for the day.
Day three will see drivers heading east where they will fly their machines over six competitive sections.
In total, the 807km event will have 373km spread over 14 competitive sections.
Olivier Costa, who received a lucrative sponsorship package from Burn-Energy-drink yesterday is confident he can continue his recent momentum but knows he cannot afford to make any mistakes with national champion Davite Giancarlo breathing down his neck.
“It’s a crucial rally for the championship. I will try to win but if I can’t, then I must score as many points as possible,” he said.
In the run in to the rally, Giancarlo also said that he was ready to roll. “I’m driving my Subaru N11 and I’m ready to battle.”
However, national championship leader Johnny Murengezi will have to watch from the spectator zones. The Unit rally team driver pulled out on the eve of the rally after failing to get a competitive car for the rally.
Murengezi went atop the championship charts after winning Rallye du Huye back in July.
Kenyan ace Peter Horsey, one of seven Pirelli-WRC star driver contenders has teamed up with Ugandan navigator Moses Matovu in a Mitsubishi Evo 9. Alex Horsey (Mitsubishi Evo. 8), Zimbabwean Chase Atwell (Subaru N12), Zambian Essa Mohammed (Subaru N11), Tanzanian Hans Navraj (Mitsubishi Evo. 9), Kenyan Raj Bhaarij (Subaru N10) and Madagascar’s Mathieu Adrianjafy (Subaru N10).
On top of being the second event on the national rally championship and third and final tier on the KCB East African rally challenge, the rally also counts as the final round on the Pirelli WRC-circuit.