[PHOTOS]: Muna Singh Jr wins Mt. Gorilla rally ARC battle

Muna Singh Jr. clinched the 5th round of the FIA/ African Rally Championship, the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla rally, which ended over the weekend in Rwanda.
Muna Singh Jr. and his navigator Jasmeen Singh after the Rwanda Mt. Gorilla rally in Nyamata on Sunday. (J. Muhinde)
Muna Singh Jr. and his navigator Jasmeen Singh after the Rwanda Mt. Gorilla rally in Nyamata on Sunday. (J. Muhinde)

ARC Standings:

Don Smith (KEN) 97 points

 

Muna Singh Jr. (ZMB) 75 points

 

Gary Chayness (CIV) 25 points

 

Ismail Shermohamed (ZMB) 30 points

Muna Singh Jr. clinched the 5th round of the FIA/ African Rally Championship, the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla rally, which ended over the weekend in Rwanda.

The young Zambian driver, navigated by his sister, Jasmeen Singh closed the gap on ARC leader Don Smith of Kenya to 22 points. The three-day- 449km rally started on Friday with a Special Super Stage at Amahoro National Stadium before heading to Nyamata on Saturday and Sunday.

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People of different age and race turned in full force to enjoy day of the 2016 Rwanda Mt. Gorilal rally on Saturday on Nyamata. (Nadege. Imbabazi)

Muna Singh Jr. finished second overall behind Burundian Valery Bukura, who is not in the race for ARC points. The Zambian, driving a Subaru Impreza N12, finished with a time of one hour, forty-nine minutes and one second while Don Smith clocked two hours, five minutes and ten seconds.

“We are happy to have finished first in Rwanda for the first time, which leaves us 22 points behind Don Smith. The competition now shifts to Uganda, where we want to win,” Muna Jr. said after the race at Golden Tulip Hotel.

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Rally fans also enjoyed 'nyama choma' and drinks at Ndemba view point. (Nadege Imbabazi)

He pointed out that he was surprised with the quality of the competition.

“The rally was really good, it was the first time to race here, Rwanda was very special especially the stages which were slippery. But we picked up the pace later in the final stage. Back in Zambia, the roads are a bit twisted. Here, we had to be very thoughtful while breaking,” Muna Jr. explained.

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Rudy Cantanhede started first on Day 2 but dropped to second, 32 seconds behind leader Valery Bukera. (N. Imbabazi)

His navigator and sister, Jasmeen was named the best female navigator of the race.  The siblings raced better against the other four ARC opponents in the special sections from Day one at Amahoro stadium to Kamabuye, Nemba, Munazi, Gako and Rilima.

On the other hand, Don Smith, who came into the race, well positioned at the top of the ARC table, was very careful, with his intention being to finish the race and score points as the battle heads to Kampala in the Pearl of Africa Rally next month.

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Rwanda's upcoming rally driver Eric Gakwaya at the starting point on Day 2 in Nyamata. (N. Imbabazi)

Zambia’s Ismail Shermohammed was third in the ARC title chasing pack while Abdul Sempebwa from Uganda settled for fourth position. The two finished overall 6th and 8th respectively.  Shermohamed won the 1600 race category in a Ford Fiesta.

Ivorian Gary Chaynes, who is third on the ARC standing with 25 points, missed the race in Rwanda.

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Zambian driver Muna Singh Jr entertaining rally fans on Day 2 at  Ndemba view point. (N. Imbabazi)

In a Subaru Impreza, Hassan Alwi had Uganda’s flag on the podium after finishing 3rd overall, 5 minutes, 42 seconds behind the winner. Jean Claude Gakwaya was the only local driver, who finished the race in 4th place.

The next FIA/African Rally Championship heads to Uganda for the Pearl of the Africa rally on September 16-18 before the final round, the International Rally of Madagascar from November 11-13.

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Kids enjoying the Rwanda Mt. Gorilla Rally in Nyamata on the second day. (N. Imbabazi)
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