Gakwaya wins Rwanda National Championship

Burundian Jean-Jean Giesen, who was navigated by Rwandan Yannick Dewalque in Toyota Celica, won the 34th edition of Rallye des Mille Collines after clocking 1 hour 39 minutes and 13 seconds in the distance of 156km in Nyamata in Bugesera District on the weekend.
Jean Claude Gakwaya is 2017 National Champion. File.
Jean Claude Gakwaya is 2017 National Champion. File.

Rallye des Mille Collines standing,
time and points
1. Jean-Jean Giesen (BDI) 1h 39’13’’ (26pts)
2. Christian Remezo (BDI) 1h50’04’’ (18pts)
3. Did Imitiaz (BDI) 01h52’24’’ (16pts)
4. Tassos G. Fergasiotis (RWA) 2h 13’ 20’’ (14pts)
5. GilberotoBalondemu (UG) 2h 24’ 55’’ (12pts)
6. FabriceYotoNyirinkindi (RWA) 2h 25’ 47’’ (10pts)
7. GeneseSemana (RWA) 2h 28’ 23’’ (8pts)
8. Eric Gakwaya (RWA) 3h 34’ 06’’ (3pts)

Burundian Jean-Jean Giesen, who was navigated by Rwandan Yannick Dewalque in Toyota Celica, won the 34th edition of Rallye des Mille Collines after clocking 1 hour 39 minutes and 13 seconds in the distance of 156km in Nyamata in Bugesera District on the weekend.

Meanwhile, Rwanda’s Jean Claude Gakwaya, who did not participate in the event, was crowned the National Rally Champion after his compatriot Fabrice Yoto Nyirinkindi failed to collect 26 points from Rallye des Mille Collines.

Gakwaya did not compete in the event after his car broke down in Huye last two months ago but he went on to win the title with 67 points ahead of his closest rival Nyirinkindi, who collected 52 points.

“It is great to win the event. This is the second time that I have been a navigator and I still do some mistakes but I hope I am improving race by race,” Jean-Jean Giesen’s co-driver Yannick Dewalque said.

“We made some mistakes at the start and suffered a puncture two times but in the last minutes we tried to recover finished strongly. We hope to improve next year” he added.

The one-day race was dominated by Burundian trio of Giesen (1 hour 39 minute and 13 seconds), Christian Remezo (finished second in 1 hour 50 minutes and 4 seconds), and Burundian Did Imitiaz (1 hour 50 minutes and 23 seconds).

Rwanda’s Tassos Fergasiotis Gakuba was the highest finisher in yesterday’s evening, coming in fourth (2 hours, 13 minutes and 20 seconds), while Ugandan Gilberoto Balondemu finishing the race in 2 hours 24 minutes 55 seconds. Rwanda’s Nyirinkindi, navigated by Regis Remera, in Toyota Celica, who was favourite to win the race, came in sixth place with 2h 25 minutes and 47 minutes, while Genese Semana, from Rwanda, clocked 2h 28 minutes and 23 seconds.

The drivers covered 156 kilometres including Kayenzi-Gashyushya road, Kayumba-Mwogo road, and the Super Stage at Tuza Inn Bar in Bugesera.

Yasin Mukaza / Jackson Serwanga (Toyota Levin, Uganda) failed to turn up at the last minute, while Christian Remezo / Jean Marie Gahuragiza (Toyota Celica, Burundi) and Serge Rusagara /Mujiji (Subaru, Rwanda) did not finish the race.

2017 Final NRC standings:
1. Jean Claude Gakwaya 67 points
2. Fabrice Yoto Nyiridandi 52
3. Christophe Nizette 36
4. Jean-Jean Giesen 26
5. Christian Remezo 31
6. Fergadiotis Tassos Gakuba 17
7. Did Imitiaz 16
8. Genese Semana 15  
9. Christian Kanangire 13
10. Alain Murenzi 3

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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