National rally champion Rudy Cantanhede has confirmed he will represent Rwanda in the forthcoming Rally of Tanzania scheduled for February 9.
The rally is the first of seven rounds on the Africa Rally Championships (ARC) calendar, which also includes the famous Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally.
Last month, the Automobile Association of Tanzania (AAT) was quoted by Daily News as describing Cantanhede as a Burundian driver.
However, according to Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC), the Belgium-born driver has refuted those reports claiming they were concocted.
Christian Gakwaya, a member of RAC confirmed to Times Sport that Cantanhede would represent Rwanda in Tanzania, ending speculations that no Rwandan river will participate in the rally.
“He (Cantanhede) will represent Rwanda. His license has already been renewed. He will feature on RAC/08/001 license in the Tanzania rally,” Gakwaya confirmed.
Cantanhede who is officially sponsored by BCR (Rwanda Commercial Bank) heads to Tanzania tomorrow (Monday). He will be navigated by his young brother Bruno Cantanhede in a Subaru Impreza.
Meanwhile, Japanese driver Miyoshi Hideaki is among 12 foreign drivers who have confirmed their participation in the first round of the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) dubbed ‘Alliance Insurance-Kobil Rally of Tanzania’.
Hideaki who will be driving a Mitsubishi Evo 9, will be joined by Jimmy White from Zimbabwe in a Subaru Impreza; South African sisters Lola and Megan Verlaque who finished second last year. Kenya will field a strong team of five drivers including; Don Smith (Subaru Impreza) and Asad Anwar (Subaru Impreza), Lee Rose (Mitsubishi Evo 8) Carl Tundo (Subaru Impreza) and Azar Anwar (Subaru Impreza). Others are Belgian Patrick Emontspool (Subaru N12), Zambian ace Munar Singh and his compatriot Paul Monge (Subaru Impreza).
Two Ugandan drivers, Emmanuel Kato and Jas Manga have also confirmed to compete in the race. Only six drivers from Tanzania have shown interest to take part in this rally. They are Randeep Birdi (Mitsubishi Evo7), Navraj Hans (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Anwar Pandya Gamdust Haji, Ben Pulsar, Pritam Gandamal and Hamidu Khan all in Subaru Imprezas.
In a related development, the routes for this year’s Africa Rally Championships (ARC) dubbed ‘Alliance Insurance-Kobil Rally of Tanzania’ have been changed from Kisarawe District to Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam.