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Zimbabwe Pressrelease

CONRAD RAUTENBACH AND PETER MARSH ARE 2007 AFRICAN RALLY CHAMPIONS ------ MUNA FROM SECOND PLACE IN ARC RESULTS BUT A LOWLY 19TH OVERALL

22 year old Conrad Rautenbach dominated his home event, the Zimbabwe Challenge Rally, to win by over 7 minutes, becoming the youngest ever African champion along the way.

Conrad, who returned home with a comfortable championship lead, only needed 3 points to take the title but having won this event for the past two years he led from the word go. Fastest through the opening 7 kilometre super special on Friday night gave him a confidence boost, but the job was made easier when one of his expected challengers, fellow countryman Jamie White rolled into retirement on the very first stage!

Zambians Muna Singh and David Sihoka clinched second places in the Championship with only a mathmatical change that they can be passed in the last round in Zambia.

South African Girls Lola and Megan Verlaque finshed third overall and score third place in the African Rally Championship for they are the only ones to have done all the requried miminum championship rallies in all 3 regions of Africa.

Rautenbach said...I’m speechless. It is such a fantastic feeling to win the African Championship. Competition has been really tough this year but to win it at home is amazing! The car was brilliant and full credit to the organising team, they did a fantastic job in pretty difficult circumstances!

The path to championship victory was not as easy as it seemed. After damaging his suspension on the opening round in Tanzania Conrad had to re-evaluate his attack strategy and followed this up with victory on the Safari Rally in Kenya, beating the might of the FIAT works team.

After beating off the locals in Uganda and Rwanda the young Zimbabwean took the fight to the Super 2000s’ in South Africa, finishing second overall and taking maximum African championship points, finishing ahead of no less than 5 of the revolutionary new cars.

The ARC event in Zimbabwe was held together by a core team of organisers led by Ralph Stead who had to work in very diffcult circustances with the economic and polictical crisis in Zimbabwe at present. They did a brillant job and the rally was well organised.

The full ARC registered drivers results are:

1. Conrad Rautenbach / Peter Marsh (ZW/ZW) Subaru Impreza 3:08:22
2. Muna Singh / David Sihoka (Z / Z) Subaru Impreza 3:15:34
3. Lola Verlaque / Megan Verlaque (ZA/ZA) Subaru Impreza 3:17:10

2007 ARC standings after Round 5 - Dunlop Zimbabwe Challenge Rally

DRIVERS
1. Conrad Rautenbach (Zimbabwe) 85 points
2. Muna Singh (Zambia) 52 points
3. Lola Verlaque (South Africa) 15 points

Registered Drivers but do not qualify...............
1. Hideaki Miyoshi (Japan) 44 points
2. Asad Anwar (Kenya) 15 points
3. Patrick Emontspool (Belgium) 14 points
4. Issa Mohamed (Tanzania) 6 points
5. Emmanuel Katto (Uganda) 5 points
6. Don Smith (Kenya) 2 points
7. Anwar Pandya (Tanzania) 1 point
8. Omar Bakressa (Tanzania) 1 point

NAVIGATORS
1. Peter Marsh (Zimbabwe) 69 points
2. David Sihoka (Zambia) 56 points
3. Megan Verlaque (South Africa) 15 points

Registered Co- Drivers but do not qualify...............
1. Hakaru Ichino (Japan) 44 points
2. Nicholas Patel (Kenya) 15 points
3. Benoit Daubie (Belgium) 14 points
4. Awadh Bafadhil (Tanzania) 6 points
5. Moses Matovu (Uganda) 5 points
6. Maisam Fazal (Tanzania) 1 point

MANUFACTURERS
1. Subaru 89 points
2. Mitsubishi 44 points

 

Conrad Rautenbach becomes youngest ever African Rally Champion. Navigated by Peter Marsh in a Subaru Impreza. Subaru is 2007 African Manufacturers Champions

Conrad Rautenbach becomes youngest ever African Rally Champion. Navigated by Peter Marsh in a Subaru Impreza. Subaru is 2007 African Manufacturers Champions.

22 year old Conrad Rautenbach dominated his home event, the Zimbabwe Challenge Rally, to win by over 7 minutes, becoming the youngest ever African champion along the way.

Conrad, who returned home with a comfortable championship lead, only needed 3 points to take the title but having won this event for the past two years he led from the word go. Fastest through the opening 7 kilometre super special on Friday night gave him a confidence boost, but the job was made easier when one of his expected challengers, fellow countryman Jamie White rolled into retirement on the very first stage!

Apart from a minor altercation with some local wildlife on Saturday Conrad, co-driven by Pete Marsh in the Jardine Lloyd Thompson backed Subaru Impreza, continued to extend his lead throughout the day, returning to Harare with a 5 minute lead over title rival Muna Singh. Sunday went like clockwork with Conrad extending his lead to eventually win by over 7 minutes!

I’m speechless. It is such a fantastic feeling to win the African Championship. Competition has been really tough this year but to win it at home is amazing! The car was brilliant and full credit to the organising team, they did a fantastic job in pretty difficult circumstances!

The path to championship victory was not as easy as it seemed. After damaging his suspension on the opening round Conrad had to re-evaluate his attack strategy and followed this up with victory on the Safari Rally in Kenya, beating the might of the FIAT works team. After beating off the locals in Uganda and Rwanda the young Zimbabwean took the fight to the Super 2000s’ in South Africa, finishing second overall and taking maximum African championship points, finishing ahead of no less than 5 of the revolutionary new cars.

Conrad will not have much time to reflect on his conquest as he flies out immediately to prepare for this coming weekends Rally Isle of Man. Not only will Conrad be changing cars from 4 wheel drive Subaru Impreza to front wheel drive Citroen C2 S1600 but both the weather and the surface will change dramatically. From the dusty gravel of Southern Africa to the wet and tricky tarmac roads of the Isle of Man in 4 days is a true test of this talented youngster.

A full report with results and championship points will follow soon.

Click here to download the Itinerary

2007 DUNLOP ZIMBABWE CHALLENGE RALLY
13th - 15th JULY 2007
PROVISIONAL START LIST TC OA - 13 JULY 2007
No Car
No
Driver
Co-driver
Nat FI
Seed
Gr Cl Vehicle Start
Time
1 1 Singh Muna
Sihoka David
Z
Z
** N4 Subaru Impreza 14:50:00
2 2 Rautenbach Conrad
Marsh Peter
ZW
ZW
  N4 Subaru Impreza 14:51:00
3 3 Whyte James
Archenoul Philip
ZW
ZW
  N4 Mitsubishi Evo 8 14:52:00
4 4 Green Craig
Exton Michael
ZW
ZW
  N4 Mitsubishi Lancer 14:53:00
5 5 Verlaque Lola
Verlaque Megan
ZA
ZA
  N4 Subaru Impreza 14:54:00
6 6 Monge Paul
Thornicroft Ray
Z
Z
  N4 Subaru Impreza 14:55:00
7 7 Whyte Shaun
Wright Brendon
ZW
ZW
  N4 Mitsubishi Evo 6 14:56:00
8 8 Flack Gary
Kilpert Rodney
ZW
ZW
  N4 Mitsubishi Lancer 14:57:00
9 9 Singh Rammy
Ismail Gary
Z
Z
  N4 Subaru Impreza 14:58:00
10 10 Attwell Chase
Dawe Gareth
ZW
ZW
  S12 Mitsubishi Evo 6 14:59:00
11 11 Essa Mohammed
Naik Ajit
Z
Z
  N4 Subaru Impreza 15:00:00
12 12 Robinson Richard
Robinson Andrew
ZW
ZW
  S10 Toyota Corolla 15:01:00
13 14 Gilbert Trevor
Keates Darrin
ZW
ZW
  S11 Mazda Familia 15:02:00
14 15 Mackay Gordon
Skinner Miles
ZW
ZW
  S12 Toyota Levin 15:03:00
15 16 Evans Shirwin
Thornicroft Malcolm
ZW
ZW
  N2 Toyota Corolla 15:04:00
16 17 Upton Murray
Stead Greg
ZW
ZW
  S10 Toyota Conquest 15:05:00
17 18 Alexander James
Kirk Gary
ZW
ZW
  S16 Land Rover 15:06:00
18 19 Yorke Michele
Milner David
ZW
ZW
  N2 Toyota Corolla 15:07:00
19 20 Fortmann Michelle
Hollinshead Amanda
ZW
ZW
  S12 Ford Escort 15:08:00

 
 
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