AFRICAN Rally Champion Mohammed Essa has pulled out of the forthcoming Rwanda Mt. Gorilla rally scheduled for September 20-22 in Kigali.
The Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) chairman Christian Gakwaya confirmed the development. “Essa confirmed his absence from the Rwanda rally after he blew up his chances of retaining the African title in Uganda rally this month,” Gakwaya told Times Sport yesterday,
According to Gakwaya, preparations are underway to have a successful African rally next month.
Essa’s chances of retaining the African championship suffered a setback after his car developed a rear suspension fault that saw him bow out of the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally.
National rally champion Giancarlo Davite has also given up on winning the 2013 Africa Rally Championship title after crashing out of Shell VPower rally in Uganda, leaving Ugandan Jas Mangat in pole position to win the title.
The three-time national champion started well in the first three rounds and his supporters hoped he would be the first local driver to bring home the ARC title. Davite suffered in the opening round of Bandama Rally but bounced back to finish second in Sasol and Zambia rallies. His form hit rock bottom when he pulled out from both Tanzania Kobil Rally and Kenya Safari Rally due to mechanical problems.
Davite was expected to redeem his chances of getting back Shell VPower contention, but his dreams were shuttered by a mechanical problem.
With two rounds to go, Uganda national champion Jas Mangat leads the ARC log with 83 points followed Jassy on 66 points while reigning African champion Essa dipped from second to third position on 50 points followed by Giancarlo Davite on 33 points.
Mangat’s solitary Africa title challenger with a realistic chance is Jassy Singh who is targeting to redeem himself in the two remaining ARC championships billed for Rwanda and Madagascar if he is to retain the Africa title.
By Bonnie Mugabe,The new Times