Local drivers target Huye Rally points

Local drivers will be seeking to register as many points as possible when the Huye Rally gets underway to add to their tallies in the race for the national title.
Reigning national champion Roshanali and his navigator Jean-Jean Giesen in their Subaru Impreza, lead the NRC standing with 90 points. / Nadege Imbabazi
Reigning national champion Roshanali and his navigator Jean-Jean Giesen in their Subaru Impreza, lead the NRC standing with 90 points. / Nadege Imbabazi

NRC standings
1. Mohammed Roshanali 90
2. Zamin Mwananteba 57
3. Valery Bukera 36
4. Claude Gakwaya 32
5. Nadir Jawed 29
6. Sultan Kalula 29
7. Fabrice Nyiridandi Yoto 21
8. Genese Semana 6

Local drivers will be seeking to register as many points as possible when the Huye Rally gets underway to add to their tallies in the race for the national title.

 

Mohamed Roshanali, Claude Gakwaya, Zamin Mwanantemba, Genese Semana and Din Imitiaz have all confirmed their participation in the two-day event, dubbed ‘Gakwaya Memorial Rally’, which is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Huye District, Southern Province.

 

Reigning national champion, Roshanali and his navigator Jean-Jean Giesen in their Subaru Impreza, who lead the NRC standing with 90 points, will be the crew to beat. Twenty-five points are up for grabs for the race winner.

 

Mwanantemba, also from Burundi, is in second place with 57 points; Valery Bukera, who has not entered for the Huye Raly, is third on 36 points, four ahead of Rwanda’s fourth-placed Gakwaya, who needs to win this weekend to get back into contention.

Gakwaya finished third in 2015, but he believes he can pull off what would be a tremendous win in his home area as he bid to win his first national title, while another local driver, Genese Semana, who finished 4th last year, is currently 8th with 6 points.

After this weekend, there will still be two more rounds remaining namely; Rally de L’Est also known as ‘Jean Pierre Memorial Rally’ slated for the beginning of next month as well as Rallye Mille Collines, which will be held in December. 

Each driver in this weekend’s rally will receive three bonus points. The winner will walk away with 25 points, while the second, third and fourth will earn 21, 18, 15 and 12 points respectively.

Davite Giancarlo, who won last year’s Huye Rally, will miss the event following a one-year ban from both domestic and international rally competitions, according to Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC).

According to Eric Gakwaya, one of the event organizers, this year’s Huye rally, will be a special event and more interesting for the spectators because it involves Motocross Freestyle race.

“It is the first time for freestyle motocross racing to be introduced in Huye,” he told Saturday Sport.

Two South African motocross riders; Scott billet and Nick de Wit arrived in the country on Wednesday and the duo is expected to thrill fans with their masters of gravity-defying stunts. Ten more local riders will join them to compete in that category.

Freestyle motocross (also known as FMX) is a sport in which riders attempt to impress judges and fans with jumps and stunts through routines on staged course consisting of multiple jumps during competitions.

For the motor rally category, the first leg of the race will start from Rango- Gisagara covering a distance of 112km in 7 Super Stages, while the freestyle motocross will cover 44.10km (156.60km in total) starting on Saturday morning at 10am.

The second leg which will be on Sunday will see drivers racing in two Super Stages covering a total distance of 155km while motocross riders will cover 82.50km.

This year, marks the 30th edition of Huye Rally which is held in memory of the late Claude Gakwaya, one of the best Rwandan rally drivers, who passed away in a motor accident in 1986.

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