RAC given two months to revamp rally
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has reportedly agreed in principle to bankroll Rwanda’s Mountain Gorilla rally in an attempt to have it reinstated back on the 2009 African Rally Championship (ARC) calendar.
Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) president Dismas Kayibanda was recently in Nairobi to finalise sponsorship talks.
“I was at the bank’s headquarters (Nairobi) recently where I discussed the issue at length with Yvonne Muvune (KCB’s advertising and sponsorship manager) so I’m very happy to say that the signs look good,” Kayibanda said.
Over the years, the regional bank that recently opened up a branch in Kigali has earned a reputation as one of the biggest corporate sponsorship companies in East Africa.
On top of winning right to sponsor the Kenya National Rally Championship to the tune of Sh105m (approx. Frw. 768m) over a three-year period, the bank also continues its flagship sponsorships like the KCB Kenya Safari Rally, Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally and the KCB/Kenya National Cross Country Championships among others.
Presently, Mountain Gorilla rally, Rwanda’s most coveted rally event is only listed as a reserve event on the 2009 ARC calendar and according to the ARC website, RAC has until the end of January to confirm their involvement.
The rally was temporarily scrapped off the calendar in 2007 after RAC’s failure to lure sponsors. The last Mountain Gorilla edition (2006) received massive sponsorship from ORTPN, Hotel Novotel, Sonarwa, Rwandair, Rwanda National Police and Dalbit Petroleum amongst others.
That year, the race was won by Zimbabwe’s Conrad Rautenbach. Meanwhile, the 2009 championship unfolds in February with Rally of Tanzania. Other events on the championship include; KCB Safari Rally Kenya (April 3-5), KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (May 1-3), Zambia International Rally (July 3-5) and the Zimbabwe Challenge Rally (28-30).
African Rally Championship (2009)
20-22 February Rally of Tanzania
3-5 April KCB Safari Rally Kenya
1-3 May KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally
3-5 July Zambia International Rally
28-30 August Zimbabwe Challenge Rally
11-13 September Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally