KIGALI - The on going post election violence in Kenya has dealt the Rwandan motor sports a major blow with postponement of the third edition of the Memorial Sprint rally.
The continued shortage of fuel in East Africa has forced Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) to postpone the event that was scheduled for January 19.
Christian Gakwaya, RAC secretary general told Sunday Sport yesterday that fuel is the only reason for postponing the first rally event on the national calendar.
“The scarcity of fuel can’t allow us to host the event thus we shall let the public know once a new date has been fixed,” Gakwaya stated.
He further noted that postponing this event can’t prevent Rwandan drivers from taking part in the first event of the African rally Championship (ARC) due next month in Tanzania.
“The Sprint rally is a national championship while the Kobil rally of Tanzania will be part of the seven rallies of the African championship.
“So it’s a personal decision for whoever wants to take part in this rally to inform RAC in bid to get approval and documentation,” he stressed.
Though no local driver has so far confirmed to take part in the Kobil rally of Tanzania, Gakwaya on behalf of RAC is confident they would (register) before this month runs out.
This event will be run in two formats-special stage rallies on closed roads to a maximum competitive distance of 250km and a competitive section ‘Safari’ type rallies on open roads which will run to a maximum distance of 350km. According to regulations released by Confederation of African Countries in Motorsport (CACMS), African drivers will forfeit all their Africa Rally Championship points if they fail to compete in at least four events.
The remaining five African rally championship include; KCB Safari Kenya Rally due March 21-23, Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (April 25-27), Rwanda Mountain Gorilla (May 30-June 1), Zambia International Rally (July 18-20) and Dunlop Zimbabwe Challenge Rally which is set for August 22-24.
With a month left to the start of the rally, registration fee stands at 204 euros (Frw. 150,000) per driver while late registration is only permitted when one changes a co-driver. Any registered competitor must have started in at least one rally in order to qualify within the final classification of the championship.
The championship is classified into Northern, Central and Southern regions. Tanzania and Kenya are in central, Rwanda and Uganda are in Northern while Zimbabwe and Zambia form the Southern region.