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2008 Zimbabwe Rally Results
REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE CHALLENGE RALLY 2008 - ARC Round 4
Harare, Sunday 24th August 2008

HIDEAKI MIYOSHI AND HAKARU ICHINO WIN 2008 ZIMBABWE CHALLENGE RALLY AND JON WILLIAMS WINS THE PIRELLI STAR DRIVER -
ARC AND PIRELLI RALLY STAR AFRICA DOWN TO THE WIRE IN THE LAST RALLY NEXT MONTH IN ZAMBIA !!

Hideaki Miyoshi, co-driven by Hakaru Ichino of Japan won the 2008 Zimbabwe Challenge at the weekend, taking a firm step towards claiming the champion’s title of this year’s FIA African Rally Championship 2008. Miyoshi and co-driver Hakaru Ichino steered their Mitsubishi Evo 9 to victory after a fast-paced and gruelling rally that saw only 10 of the original 17 starters finish the three-day event.

Fourth overall but second in the ARC was Muna Singh and David Sihoka from Zambia in their Subaru Impreza. The event was a major disappointment for Zimbabweans Jamie Whyte and Phil Archenoul, who were leading the drivers’ and co-drivers’ points in the Africa Rally Championship this year after a string of victories in other countries. They went out of the rally after a crash early on day two when their Mitsubishi Lancer skidded off the road in a forest and the car was stuck between trees – losing not only the chance to claim the prestigious Zimbabwe Challenge titles but also their lead of the African Rally Championship, now headed by the Japanese.

Zimbabweans took the other two podium places – Craig Green and Mike Exton second in their Mitsubishi Evo 4 and Richard Robinson and Colin Schreiber third in their Mitsubishi Evo 8. Both Zimbabweans are not registered to score ARC points.

For the ARC Miyoshi needs to finish third in the Zambia International Rally and will be home and dry. Two time African Champion Muna Singh is placed second on 24 points with Jamie Whyte patched on third overall position with 23 points. The ARC is still open and fight will go to Zambia.


Miyoshi and Ichino are taking part in the ARC this year as a significant show of confidence in the continental ARC championship. They were the first Japanese participants to have been in a Zimbabwe Challenge since the event was first run in 1962 and their win was further confirmation of the event’s status as a popular one for international teams. 
        

South Africa’s Jon Williams and Pierre Arries finished 5th Overall and first in the Pirelli Rally Star Africa promotion. Introduction of this scheme will in coming years attract a significant numbers of younger drivers from across Africa and it is hoped this will increase participation in all ARC events by young newcomers hoping to not only gain experience but also a chance to compete in the WRC.

Kenya’s sole survivor Peter Horsey finished sixth overall in the Zimbabwe Challenge Rally to assume the lead in the Pirelli Rally Star Driver Promo with 22 points with Willams at 20 points and Alfir Khan at 18 points. 

The Pirelli Rally Star championship now goes down to the wire in the last event in Zambia on 12-14th September 2008. The winner of newly introduced Pirelli Rally Star promo earns a scholarship to participate in six European- based rounds of the FIA World rally Championship series with either an S-2000 or Group N formulas provided by a manufacturer in Europe under the FIA.

Kenya’s Alfir Khan had to contend with drive shaft gremlins that emanated from a faulty centre differential. Khan had led the Pirelli series but not until an excruciating exit marred his intended major celebrations.

Miyoshi wrestled the top spot from Zimbabwean Jamie Whyte. Whyte retired on day two on Saturday with a bent rear suspension control arm when he went off and hit a tree from the sideways of his Subaru.  
Foreign teams this year also included groups from South Africa, Kenya and Zambia, as well as a strong contingent of Zimbabweans.

The first day, Friday August 22, saw all cars involved in the unique and spectator-friendly three-car race around the tar and dirt roads of the Mashonaland Motor Sport Association’s Donnybrook circuit in eastern Harare. Miyoshi staked his claim to the title at this, with the fastest time of the day.

Day two saw the rally move to the farm and forest roads around Norton, 50km west of the capital city. Here were the seven casualties of the rally, which in addition to Whyte and Archenoul included Alfir Khan and Tinu Khan of Kenya (Subaru Impreza), Shaun Whyte and Pete Marsh (Mitsubishi Evo 6), Gary Flack and Rodney Kilpert (Mitsubishi Lancer), Big Chitima and Amos Chamunokara (Toyota Corolla). Michelle Fortman and Miles Skinner (Subaru WRX).

Sunday August 24 saw a complete move or the rally to Ruwa, a new destination for rallies in Zimbabwe and described as ‘gentler’ than Norton. No-one left the event that day and all 10 remaining cars headed for the lunchtime ceremonial flag-in at Donnybrook by the Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda.

The event traversed through Mashonaland farm fields in Ruwa and Norton covering a total of 586 kilometers; of which the cumulative competitive distance totalled 233 Km.

One event remains to be run in this year’s FIA African Rally Championship – the Zambia International Rally, scheduled for 12-14th September.

FULL RALLY RESULTS

1.    Hideaki Miyoshi / Hakaru Ichino (JAPAN-Mitsubishi Evo 9) 2:48:37  * ARC
2.    Craig Green / Michael Exton (Zimbabwe -Mitsubishi EVO 4)     2:49:37
3.    Richard Robinson / Colin Schreiber (Zimb-Mitsubishi EVO 8)    2:50:01
4.    Muna Singh / David Sihoka (Zambia -Subaru N10)             2:51:13 * ARC
5.    Jon Williams / Pierre Arries (South Africa-VW Polo S2000)2:53:38 * ARC** Pirelli Star
6.    Peter Horsey / Timothy Challen (KEN-Mitsubishi EVO 8)       2:54:56 * ARC** Pirelli Star
7.    Mohammed Essa / Ajit Naik (Zambia - Subaru Impreza)           2:58:31
8.    Chase Attwell / David Milner (Zimbabwe - Toyota RunX)            3:03:14
9.    Sherwin Evans / Malcon Thornicraft (Zim - Toyota Corolla RSi)  3:17:24
10
.  Michelle Yorke / Steve Murton (Zim - Toyota Corolla RSi)          3:38:29
* ARC
** Pirelli Rally Star Drivers

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP (Top Ten) - After Zimbabwe Round 4
1.  Hideaki MIYOSHI (Japan)              31 points
2.  Muna SINGH (Zambia)                  24 points
3.  James WHYTE (Zimbabwe)           23 points
4.  Jon WILLIAMS (South Africa)         11 points
5.  Peter HORSEY (Kenya)                10 points
6.  Don SMITH (Kenya)                       9 points
7.  Alfir KHAN (Kenya)                        8 points
7= Jas MANGAT (Uganda)                  8 points
9.  Navraj HANS (Tanzania)                 6 points
9= Lola VERLAQUE (South Africa)      6 points
9= Azar ANWAR (Kenya)                   6 points
12. Rudy CANTANHEDE (Rwanda)      2 points
NAVIGATORS CHAMPIONSHIP (Top Ten) - After Zimbabwe Round 4
1.  Hakaru ICHINO (Japan)                 32 points
2.  David SIHOKA (Zambia)                24 points
2= Phil ARCHENOUL (Zimbabwe)       24 points
4.  Sonal SMITH (Kenya)                    12 points
5.  Pierre ARRIES (South Africa)         11 points
6.  Frank GITAU (Kenya)                    10 points
7.  Megan VERLAQUE (South Africa)  8 points
8.  Moses MATOVU (Tanzania)          4 points
9.  Bruno CANTANHEDE (Rwanda)     3 points
MANUFACTURERS - After Zimbabwe Round 4
1. Subaru          36 points
2. Mitsubishi      32 points
PIRELLI RALLY STAR AFRICA - After Zimbabwe Round 4
1.  Peter HORSEY (Kenya)                 22 points
2.  Jon WILLIAMS (South Africa)         20 points
3.  Alfir KHAN (Kenya)                        18 points
4.  Navraj HANS (Tanzania)                   6 points

 
 
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