NATIONAL rally champion Fitidis Christakis is bracing himself for a tough challenge at the upcoming KCB Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally.
The 600km race, which also counts as the fifth round on the 2011 FIA Africa Rally Championship (ARC) and third and final round of the KCB East African Rally Challenge, will run from September 30 to October 2.
With reigning African champion Jamie Whyte, Zimbabwe’s Conrad Rautenbach, last year’s winner Rudy Cantanhede, Uganda’s Jas Mangat, Valery Bukera of Burundi and fellow Rwandan driver Davite Giancarlo all confirming participation, Fitidis, 59, who will be driving a Subaru N12, expects a close race.
“You have about six drivers who can win it so I expect a very close race,” he said.
Ashraf Ahmed, Charlie Lubega, Charles Muhangi, Kenneth Ntaro, Mohammed Ashraf, Ronald Sebuguuzi, Elefter Mitraros, Edson Mungyereza, Claude Kwizera, Jean Yves and Frederic Rakotomanga are the other drivers in contention.
Cantanhede won last year’s edition in one hour, 57 minutes and seven seconds while Christakis finished 5th.
KCB has splashed $50,000 (about Rwf29.5m) in the three-day race.