Irushanwa gives hope to Mt. Gorilla rally return
After a successful 2008 Irushanwa-rallye des 1000 collines, there is a high probability that the Confederation of Africa Motor Sport (CACMS) will consider restating Rwanda’s Mountain Gorilla rally on the African Rally Championship in the near future.
According to the chief rally steward Achil Khan from Kenya, the organisation of the just concluded event was top class, one of the prerequisites to host an African Rally championship event.
Khan said that he was very impressed with the general organisation and tipped Rwanda to be drafted back into the African Rally Championship (ARC).
“With this kind of organisation, it won’t be long before the African Rally Championship returns to Rwanda,” Khan noted
The Mountain Gorilla rally was scrapped off the ARC calendar last year following sponsorship troubles.
CACMS cancelled the Rally which had been scheduled for May 30-June 1 because of lack of available sponsorship. The last edition held back in 2006 attracted big sponsorship from ORTPN, Hotel Novotel, Sonarwa, Rwandair, Rwanda National Police and Dalbit Petroleum.
Attracting 16 drivers from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Belgium, Irushanwa-rallye des 1000 collines also went down as the first to incorporate a team competition (Irushanwa).
Fina Bank was the overwhelming champions in this category while Quickauto and Kobil finished second and third respectively.
Despite driving a Subaru Impreza 2003 model, Rudy Cantanhede with two national championship titles in 2006 and 2007 showed why he is arguably the best driver in the championship history when he claimed the three-day rally.
The Belgian, who recently relocated to his native home, beat Burundi’s Valery Bukera en route winning his second successive des 1000 collines rally.
Tony Saegerman leapfrogged new national champion Davite Giancarlo to third place after the latter crushed his Subaru’s oil pipe in the final stages. However, the rally was of little significance to Giancarlo who claimed the title last month after winning rallye de l’Est.
Rallye des 1000 collines, covering a distance of 760.42km is the second biggest race on the national championship after the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla. The two rallies have a coefficient of four.