Huge field as Giancarlo eyes Rally De L’Imbo glory

Davite Giancarlo was in upbeat mood ahead of the race last month. File.

It will be a battle for supremacy when a record 17 crews take to the dusty roads of Gihundwe Sector in Rusizi District, for the 2019 Rally De L'Imbo on Sunday.

Five-time national champion Davite Giancarlo and his navigator, Sylvia Vindevogel, lead the line-up, and are tipped for a second successive victory after claiming the 2019 season’s opening race, Nyirangarama Tare Sprint Rally, last month. 

The crew is expected to put up a strong performance in their Miitsubishi Evo.

Two Burundian crews; Roshanali Mohamed and Hassan Ali (Subaru Impreza) and defending champions Din Imtiaz Awan and Christophe Bigirimana  in their Toyota Avensis (4WD) are among the pre-race favourites.

Auto paints Rally Team will be represented by two crews led by Fohd Masoud (Subaru Imprezza) and Zamin Mwanateba (Peugeot 106).

InterPetrol Rally Team will also have two crews in the one-day contest, while Academie Messager Rally Team have confirmed that they will be fielding three crews.

Mayaka Amigo Felikin and Salim Abdullah will compete with a Peugeot 205, Christian Remezo also made the entry with a Subaru Impreza, while Jean Jean Giesen will cruise Toyota Celica.

Meanwhile, the second round of the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) has seen a low turn-up as South Africa hosts the event this weekend where only sixteen crews will be in the contest for this year’s rally in Mpumalanga Province.

The reigning ARC champion Manvire Baryan from Kenya and Zambia’s Leroy Gomes are the only foreign entrants.

Baryan leads the championship with 50 points after his impressive run in the opening round in Ivory Coast. The two-day competition will cover a total distance of 208.37km.