DAVITE Giancarlo’s faint hopes of piping Jamie Whyte to this year’s African Rally Championship title fell apart after crashing out of the three-day Zambia International rally, the penultimate round on this year’s ARC calendar.
The speedster, who was driving a Subaru Impreza, was the first major casualty after tumbling out in the second stage on day two (Saturday).
“We hit a tree and the rear left tire got messed up so we had no choice but to abandon the race. The African adventure unfortunately ended there,” a disappointed Giancarlo said.
The two-time national champion was joined on the casualty list by Ashish Patel, Geoffrey Chulu, Jassy Singh and Dani Beaini who entered the super rally after being slapped with a five minute penalty plus the fastest stage time of 1:33 recorded by Essa on the second run of Friday’s super special spectator stage.
The 49-year-old veteran driver Whyte wrote his own piece of history when he became the first Zimbabwean to win back-to-back ARC titles in the history of the prestigious continental motor rally championship.
With his tried and trusted lieutenant Phil Archenoul by his side, Whyte drove his Subaru Impreza N10 to a second place finish behind Zambia’s Muna Singh.
Third place went to Paul Monge of Zambia in the event which started with 13 cars but four failed to last the distance.
Singh, a two-time African champion, emerged as the overall winner with a total time of 2 hours, 59 minutes and 35 seconds.
Whyte followed in second place with a total time of 3 hours and 25 seconds; 50 seconds behind Singh. Nevertheless, the performance was enough to see the Zimbabwean retaining the ARC Drivers’ title.
The tough six-legged ARC series wraps up next month with the Toyota Zimbabwe Challenge Rally.