RWANDA’S rally ace Davite Giancarlo left for Lusaka yesterday to compete in the Zambia International Rally.
The race, which is the fifth and penultimate round on this year’s African Rally Championship, will run from July 16-18.
Yves Kagina, the president of Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) told Times Sport yesterday that Giancarlo is Rwanda’s sole representative in Zambia.
“He is going to be the country’s flag bearer in the three-day event and we wish him the best.” Kagina added that he expects an exciting battle between Giancarlo and reigning African champion Jamie Whyte.
“The quest for this year’s title is still on although Whyte is better placed to retain the title,” Kagina conceded.
Meanwhile, the pair is also expected to receive stiff competition from homeboy Mohammed Essa.
The teenage rally driver says that the Zambia International Rally is an opportunity to make up for the lack of Zambian presence in this year’s ARC.
In an interview with Zambia’s Post Online, Essa, who recently participated in the Zimbabwe PGA Rally where he emerged third, said he would use the event to garner points for the local national championship.
“Now we are not in the ARC but we are going to use this to gain points for the national title which I am currently leading,” he said.
Essa, who will be driving a Subaru Impreza N11, is also set to participate in the Zimbabwe International, the climax for the 2010 ARC on August 27.
Two-time African champion Muna Singh, Son Jasie, and Paul Monge are among the local drivers joining the fray.
The Zambia event was preceded by the Kobil Rally of Tanzania (February), KCB Safari Rally Kenya (April), KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally and KCB Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally.
Whyte currently leads the ARC standings with 143 points, 44 points clear of Giancarlo in second place and a further 80 ahead of another Rwandan driver Fitidis Christakis in third place.