1. Giancarlo Davite 1:11:48
2. Mohamed Roshanali 1:18:02
3. Elefter Mitraros 1:21:20
4. Jean Jean Giesen 1:25:41
5. Din Imtiaz 1:34:08
Giancarlo Davite and his navigator Yan Demester clinched the first race of the 2019 national rally championship with victory of the Nyirangarama Tare Sprint Rally in Rulindo District on Saturday.
The Belgium-born driver and pace-reader Demester, in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10, dominated the race from off to the end en route to their well-earned victory where they used 1 hour, 11 minutes and 48 seconds to cover the 89.2km distance.
The Gianca crew finished seven minutes and forty-six seconds ahead of Momo Rally Team of Mohamed Roshanali and Ali Hassan in Subaru Impreza who were the first runners-up.
“We are happy to win the race, this is a very promising start to the new season,” said Giancarlo, a two-time Mountain Gorilla Rally champion.
Meanwhile, Elefter Mitraros, who made a surprise comeback from retirement, proved he still got his pace and skills as he finished third in his Subaru Impreza.
Jean Jean Giesen came fourth, a whopping 9 minutes and 33 seconds ahead of 2018 national champion Din Imtiaz, of Burundi, who completed top five.
The Huye-based crew of Furaha Sekamana, navigated by Emmanuel Kubwimana, settled for the sixth position and the last among those who managed to complete the race.
Of the twelve entries in the Northern Province district, only six finished the dramatic race that saw the crews of Jules Uwimana and Hassan Bukuru, and the Dukes Rally duo of Tassos Fergadiotis and Jonathan Gatsinzi, crushing out in Super Section 1.
Two-time national champion Jean Claude Gakwaya and Lionel Kayitankore are the other drivers who retired in Super Section 1 and 2, respectively.
Amigo Mayaka dropped out during the fourth Super Section, and was shortly followed by Fabrice Yoto who abandoned at the start of the fifth Super Section.
Giancarlo only participated in one event during the 2018 rally championship as he proved too tough on rivals to win the Mountain Gorilla Rally in October.