FIA Star drivers have pronounced themselves ready for ARC Mountain Gorilla Rally which will revisit the scenic terrain in the Eastern Province of Rwanda on Saturday and Sunday.
The Kenyan quartet hopes to translate a good feeling from pre-event formalities (recce, qualifying and scritnineering) into meaningful results.
The youthful outfit, comprising Maxine Wahome, Jeremiah Wahome, Hamza Anwar and McRae Kimathi, heads into the Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) organized round of the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC)with a lot of confidence.
The Safaricom-KQ sponsored team will pilot the state-of-the-art M-Sport Poland prepared Ford Fiesta Rally3 cars currently being serviced locally by Tams Racing.
Jeremiah Wahome, who currently leads the Junior ARC category, was all smiles and here’s what he had to say about his Rwanda debut: “It’s good to be here. I didn’t do the event last year, so its new stages for me, but from recce, they all look good-fast but enjoyable. For me, every rally is different but it will be flat-out from the onset.”
Maxine, a leading female driver on the continental arena, narrated her ARC experience so far: “I am super excited to be back in Rwanda. It’s been a good learning experience from Equator (Kenya), Uganda, Tanzania and now Rwanda.”
‘Every country has its own unique rally-sport lessons. So, let’s see what Rwanda has to offer this time round. But from recce, it looks pretty much the same route as last year.”
Maxine finished sixth in Rwanda last year in the company of Linet Ayuko.
She went on: “The smooth roads in Rwanda are amazing but now with the rains, it should definitely be a tough outing. Last year I tackled the event in a Subaru, so I am eager to see how far I can go with the Rally3.”
” I am not a big fun of wet events, but with the kind of soil and texture in Rwanda, I want to believe that it will not be as tough as it was in Uganda.”
McRae, on his part, believes the seat time he has gotten this year as a full-time Junior WRC competitor in 2022 will propel him to greater heights at continental level.
“We took our first podium in Rwanda last year, so hopefully this year we can go one better or even achieve the unexpected. But it will be difficult with the likes of Karan Patel, Jas Mangat, local Ginacarlo Davite and Leroy Gomes all gunning for the coveted top prize. WRC experience will definitely play out this weekend.”
McRae continued: “But having had the opportunity to experience similar road conditions on WRC Estonia and Poland, we can only hope for the best.”
–Fast, Technical Roads–
Rwanda has traditionally retained its longstanding reputation as one of the fastest and most technical rounds of the ARC circuit, with minimal rough stretches.
“The route is very fast, it takes a lot of commitment, so whoever plays their cards well should carry the day.” Kimathi Junior quipped.
Saturday’s grueling run will see crews tackle Gako (8.30km), Gasenyi (19.80km), Nemba (10.04km) and Ruhuha (24.07km) which will be repeated to make up a cumulative competitive total of 124km.
Sunday’s closing leg will take crews through a total competitive mileage of 70.94km through two repeated stages at Kamabuye (27.07Km) and Gayo (8.40km).
The service park will be based in Nemba. Podium celebrations and Prize giving shall take place at Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) .- Advertisement -