The Rwandan crew of Yoto Fabrice, navigated by Regis Remera, suffered a blow ahead of the 19th Pearl of Africa Rally, which starts today (Friday) with competitive stages in Busiika and Nakifuma in Uganda.
The local crew blew their Toyota Celica Super Round shape ST 185 engine while testing their car on Wednesday and will not be able to participate in the race which leaves only one Rwandan crew of Jean-Claude Gakwaya navigated by Jean-Claude Mugabo to fly the country’s flag.
The Federation of Motorsport Clubs in Uganda (FMU) has officially confirmed that the Rwandan crew is out leaving the number of foreign crews to nine and local crews to 47.
A record fifty-six drivers made entry to the continent’s most prestigious event forcing FMU Clerk of the Course (COC) Cedric Buzabo to apply for a waiver to limit the number before sending the final list to the Federation International Automobile (FIA).
In the meantime, its business as for Giancarlo Davite navigated by Sylvia Vindevogel in an Evo X (Belgium), they will leave the ramp in eighth ahead of Ugandan Blick/N. Blick (Impreza).
Ugandan 2017 national rally leader Ssebuguzi/L. Ssenyange in their Mitsubishi Evo X will be flagged off first while Africa Rally Championship (ARC) leader Jaspreet Chatthe in pursuit.
Meanwhile, rain is expected to dread the race when the crews follow one another during the race. Parts of the race are expected to get from bad to worse to near impassable according to reports from drivers and their navigators who did their pace notes while studying the 492.83k route they must beat on Saturday.
PROVISIONAL START LIST – TOP 10
1. Ssebuguzi/L. Ssenyange (Evo X)
2. Chatthe/G. S. Panesar (Evo X)
3. Alwi Junior/J. Kamya (N14)
4. Baryan/D. Sturrock (Evo 9)
5. Mubiru/G. Ssemankula (Evo X)
6. Bukera/J. Gusen (Impreza)
7. Mayanja/H. Mukuye (EvoX)
8. Davite/S. Vindevogel (Evo X)
9. Blick/N. Blick (Impreza)
10. Gomes/U. Gomes (Evo X)