RWANDA’S premier rally ‘Rwanda Mountain Gorilla’ has made a swift return on the FIA-Africa Rally Championship (ARC) calendar.
The event will now count as a competitive round on the 2010 ARC after missing out in 2008 and 2009.
During those two years, the rally was not part of the ARC after requests from Rwanda’s Automobile Club (RAC).
According to RAC chief Dismas Kayibanda, the body pulled out after failing to garner enough sponsorship.
“At the time, we refrained because we had failed to get enough sponsorship to stage an attractive event,” he said before adding that RAC does not have to worry any more after Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)’s intervention.
This year’s success is majorly down to KCB’s Rwf 28.2m cash package.“The 2009 Mountain Gorilla Rally was a big success because of KCB’s contribution. They came on board in a big way and we are very grateful for their support,” Kayibanda added.
Confederation of Africa Motor Sport (CACMS) Chairman Surinder Thatthi confirmed the rally’s re-assimilation into the ARC last week.
Meanwhile, the title race for this year’s national rally championship will go down to the wire.
After Saturday’s rallye de l’Est, the championship is still open to any of the four drivers; reigning champion Davite Giancarlo, Olivier Costa, Elefter Mitraros and Fitidis Christakis.
Christakis put himself in contention for the title after sweeping the 118km rally in a time of one hour and 20 seconds. Costa and Mitraros claimed the other podium slots after returning times of 1:01:20 and 1:07:46.
Giancarlo failed to finish and will now have to double his efforts in the final round-Des 1000 Collines rally before dreaming of back to back national titles.
With 45 points, the Italian-born’s lead is now down to two points. Christakis has 43 points; Mitraros has 41 points while Costa stands in fourth place with 30 points.
Des 1000 Collines will run from December 5 to 6.