AFRICAN champion
Mohammed Essa yesterday
retained the Puma Energy
Zambia International Rally
title after winning the 490
kilometres event by 6:47
minutes to bounce back in
contention for the
continental crown.
The win takes Essa into
joint third position with Eric
Pages of Ivory Coast and
South Africa’s Jan Habig
who were jointly leading the
FIA African Rally
Championship (ARC) before
the Zambia rally that counts
as the third round this
Rwanda’s Giancarlo Davite
made his maiden Zambia
finish in four years by
securing second place to
move to the summit of the
ARC with 33 points, three
points ahead of national
champion Jassy Singh who
finished fifth, while Essa,
Pages and Habig are joint
third on 25 points apiece.
Uganda’s Jas Mangat
finished third to secure 15
points in African race going
into the fourth round, the
Puma Energy Rally
Tanzanian which would be
staged in Dar-es-Salaam
where Essa and Jassy
would be hoping accrue
additional points.
Essa’s recently acquired
Prodrive Subaru Impreza
N2010 R4 coupled with his
skills proved too strong for
his competitions in the rally
that started with 14 cars on
Friday ending with eight
with two others in the
Super Rally.
He prevailed after timing
three 3:08:35 hours, while
Davite in a Mitsubishi Evo X
brought home 3:15:22 hours
with Mangat in a Subaru
N12 clocking 3:19:53 hours.
Monze-based and crowd
favourite, Kenny Mukosa
produced a scintillating
performance in a Subaru N8
to finish fourth with a time
of 3:38:07 hours, ahead of
Jassy who defied a damage
to his Subaru N10’s front
differential to finish fifth in
3:43:40 hours.
Danni Beani in a Subaru
N10 emerged fifth on
3:57:43 hours, while 18-
year-old debutant Toofail
Dalal in a Subaru GC8 pulled
sixth position after clocking
4:23:23 hours.
And speaking in the service
park after finishing the last
stage on Graham Ray farm,
Essa said he was happy
that he had retained his
title, adding that it was a
fantastic feeling and that
his main focus was to also
retain the Puma Energy
Rally Tanzania.
He said the win has
boasted his morale of
accumulating more points in
the subsequent ARC
competition next after
failing to record any points
during the Sasol Rally in
South Africa last month
when he crashed out on the
first stage on the rally.
“Last year we started on a
good note with a new car
and we won 11th ARC and
now this year we have
another new car, it is
fantastic to retain my title,
now our focus is now on
winning the Tanzania one,”
Essa said.
Meanwhile Jassy said he
failed to put up a good
show at the championship
because his car suffered a
broken front differential in
the morning stages of
Saturday and had to rally
on two wheels in the rest of
that stages.



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