The quiet green mountains of Rwanda will yet again become noisy as the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally kicks off on Friday, and it might determine who will succeed Kenyan icon driver Manvir Baryan as African champion. Eric Gakwaya, the Race Director of the RMGR said the rally will start at 2 pm, with a qualification stage at Amahoro Stadium.
The main rally will take place on closed roads in Gako, Bugesera district, in line with the safety measures required by the Africa Rally Championship
At this weekend’s penultimate round of the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) in Rwanda, longtime leader Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo eyes to dust his South African challenger from Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa, Guy Botterill.
Tundo’s Minti Motorsport Volkswagen Polo R5 has won the last three ARC events, including the Equator Rally in Kenya, the Rally of Tanzania, and the Zambia International Rally, when he escaped a late incident to bag the podium 1 finish. Tundo, leads Botterill by 17 points, and if he wins in Rwanda, Botterill will be forced to finish in the top four to keep his title aspirations alive until the season’s last round, the Rally of South Africa.
Following the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Botterill won the 2020 edition of Rallye Bandama in Ivory Coast, which was eventually integrated into the 2021 continental championship.
If Tundo and Bolteril falter, Uganda’s Yasin Nasser, the other ARC candidate this year, could spring a last minute surprise and clinch the much coveted African title. He lies third in the standings with 49 points. Kenyan Karan Patel lies fifth.
Young FIA Rally stars will too be racing in the Rwandan Mountains, each with an eye of growing their talents.