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Zambia_pressrelease

REPORT: ZAMBIA INTERNATIONAL RALLY - 2007 ARC ROUND 7

DAVID SIHOKA GRABS ARC NAVIGATORS TITLE IN FINAL ROUND

MUNA LEADS FROM START TO FINISH IS A DECISIVE WIN

ZAMBIA’s Dave Sihoka this afternoon scooped the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) navigators’ title after him and his driver Muna Singh won the 480.78-kilometres long Zambia International Motor Rally which ended at Holiday Inn.

Sihoka’s victory means it is the first time in the history of the ARC that the contest has produced different champions in the drivers’ and navigators’ championship following Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach’s triumph on home soil last month.

The Zambian will accompany 22-year-old Rautenbach to the world motor sport governing body FIA headquarters in Monte Carlo, France the traditional awards gala venue where deserving personal in all motor sport disciplines receive their trophies. 

The Botswana-based Zambian co-driver piped Rautenbach’s navigator, Peter Marsh, to the title by three points after ending the season with 72 points. Muna closes the season in second position with 68 points against the Zimbabwean teenagers’ 85.

This afternoon’s triumph means the Zambians, who race in a Madison Subaru Impreza N10, have now won the Zambia round of the ARC for the second time after their debut titles five seasons ago. Apparently, the last four titles have all been won by foreign crews.

“Its great man, we really fought for it throughout the season and I think we deserve it but I must say it is sad that Muna will not be travelling with me this time. I wished I could have gone with him,” said a calm looking Sihoka. 

“I will like to congratulate the driver (Muna) because it is because of him through his good driving that we have managed to be where we are and particularly my winning of the title today,” he added.

They clocked two hours 47 minutes 14 seconds to finish the race six minutes 15 seconds quicker than the ‘Rally Chicks’ Lola and Megan Verlaque of South Africa who claimed second position in a Bosch/Total Subaru N10 despite a minute 40 seconds slapped on them.

Lola wraps up a successful season in third position on 29 points, a slot more than her young sister recording three podium finish in seven continental rounds whereas Muna and Sihoka appeared on the podium six times. 

Third position went to exciting 18-year-old Mohammed Essa/Ajit Naik (Subaru) who were 11 minutes 30 seconds off the pace while 2005 national champion Charles Kapya/Geoffrey Chulu (Total Subaru) were a further 35 minutes 38 seconds adrift the leaders in fourth position.

Thirty-seven two seconds off the pace were Azim/Imran Ticklay (Toyota Landcruiser) and completing the circuit with a further 47 minutes 33 seconds adrift the winning crew in sixth position were Elmandy Gumboh/Osward Chibebe (Petrotech VW Golf 4). 

Muna and Sihoka, 2004 and 2005 African champions, underlined their dominance of this rally by winning fifteen of the eighteen selective stages that made up this three-day event.

The other three stages were won by Zimbabweans James Whyte/Archenoul (Jialing Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo 8) who were victorious at Friday’s super special stage and the Rally Chicks who won stage 16 and 17 this afternoon.   

“The rally was very demanding on the car and we really had to drive with great care to finish because there were bushes and trees that was the reason why most of the crews fell out. It was very tricky but it was okay and I feel losing to Muna is not losing at all,” said Lola.

“Everyone should come and do the Zambia rally because it is one of the best on the African championship,” added Lola, who together with her young sister Megan were competing in the whole seven round African series for the first time. 

The rally attracted 16 entries, five foreign crews, but only six finished the race after locals Paul Monge/Ray Thornicroft (Total Subaru N11), Rammy Singh/Gary Ishmail (Engen Subaru) who all retired with mechanical faults.

Others are Abdalla Hamad/Lastone Chulu (Nosh Subaru N10), Ashish Patel/Jimmy Dons (Subaru), Siddharth Josh/Ben Liebenberg (Family 24 Toyota Celica) and Fred Wamala Max Malauni (Celica).

The rest include Zimbabweans Whyte/Archenoul, Shaun Whyte/David Milner (Jialing Evo 6), Chase Attwell/Mike Exton (Motorway Evo 6) and Gordon Mackay/Miles Skinner (Faith Toyota Levin). 

The new season starts early next year with the Kobil Rally of Tanzania set for Dar-es-Salaam.

LEG 1 Report

DAVE Sihoka’s chances of a third FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) navigators’ title brightened yesterday after his partner Muna Singh took an overnight pole position in the 480.78-kilometres-long Zambia International Motor Rally today in Chisamba, north of Lusaka.

Driving a Madison Subaru Impreza N10, the duo dominated the day winning all nine competitive stages and grabbing three bonus points apiece going into the final leg tomorrow when Sihoka will only need 11 more points to become African champion.

“We now have to hold on to the lead and see what we can do tomorrow. We will make a reasonable speed and sensible driving, it will be silly for us to waste a comfortable two-minute lead,” Muna said.

The Zambians made their intentions felt as early as the first stage of the day after taking over the lead from super special stage winners Zimbabweans James Whyte/Phil Archenoul (Jialing Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo 8) who retired in the subsequent stage with a broken gearbox shaft.

It summed up a disastrous season for the two Zimbabweans who are yet to finish any of the FIA ARC events they have competed in this season ending the campaign without a point to their credit.  

All the three Evos from Zimbabwe crashed out of the race after Shaun Whyte/David Milner (Jialing Evo 6) and teenager Chase Attwell/Mike Exton (Motorway Evo 6) bed farewell to the rally with mechanical problems respectively in section one and two.  

“I am in second position at this stage which is good but is important is to have Zambians at the top and we have do so by taking the top three positions. This confirms that the Subarus are stronger than the Evos, endurance is more important at this point,” Monge said.  

Three minutes 36 seconds off the pace in third position was Rammy Singh/Gary Ishmail (Engen Subaru) followed by the ‘Rally Chicks’, Lola and Megan Verlaque (Bosch/Total Subaru N10) of South Africa who clocked 1:33:05 seconds.

However, the Chicks get two bonus points each for finishing second behind Muna and Sihoka in the continental race from today’s leg since Monge/Thornicroft and Rammy/Ishmail are not eligible for FIA ARC honours.

“It was a good day for us, the roads are nice but of course they (Zambian crews) had home advantage over us but we will press on tomorrow because I want another podium finish,” Lola said.

Action tomorrow moves to Fringilla, where crews will have an overnight halt, for the final eight stages that totals 240.20-km of which 99.11-km is competitive. Podium finish has been set for the Holiday Inn at 15:00 hours local time.

SUPER SPECIAL STAGE REPORT

ZIMBABWEAN brothers James and Shaun Whyte claimed top two positions from the super special stage on day one of the Zambia International Motor Rally when some crews overshot on a 2.11-kilometre sprint circuit at the Lusaka Motor Club in the Showgrounds.

This rally is the closing round of the seven round 2007 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) and is to determine if Zambia’s Dave Sihoka wins the navigators’ title to deny Zimbabwean Peter Marsh, who co-drives countryman Conrad Rautenbach. 

“The day was okay our time was 2.19. We are ready to attach tomorrow you know us, we diesel machines (slow starters), we need heat up,” said Muna said at the Club.

“We know what we want fro this rally, we are aiming for something and that is to win it for Dave (Sihoka) that’s why we are going flat out tomorrow,” added the 2004 and 2005 African champion. 

According to provisional unofficial results, Muna Singh/Sihoka (Madison Subaru Impreza N10), Paul Monge/Ray Thornicroft (Total Subaru N11) and the ‘Rally Chicks’ Lola/Megan Verlaque (Bosch and Total) of South Africa finished three seconds off the pace in joint third position.

Navigated by compatriot Phil Archenoul in a Jialing Lancer Mitsubishi Evo 8, veteran James took overnight pole position after clocking two minutes 16 seconds to finish the race a second quicker than his young brother Shaun in a Jialing Evo 6.

Abdalla Hamad/Lastone Chulu (Nosh Subaru N10) was a further eight seconds adrift the leader in fourth position and just a second ahead of national champions Rammy Singh/Gary Ishmail (Engen Subaru) who finished fifth.

Much improving Zimbabwean teenager Chase Attwell/Mike Exton (Evo 6) finished 12 seconds off the pace to get sixth position.

No points towards the FIA ARC standings are accrued from the super special unless tomorrow and Sunday when action moves to farming areas around Chisamba, north of Lusaka, for the rally proper.

 

Overall results

 

1. Muna Singh / David Sihoka (Z / Z)  Subaru Impreza                          2:47:14 *

2. Lola Verlaque / Megan Verlaque (ZA/ZA) Subaru Impreza                 2:53:29 *

3. Mohamed Essa / Ajit Naik (Z/Z) Subaru Impreza                              2:58:44

4. Charles Kapya / Geoffery Chulu (Z/Z) Subaru Impreza                      3:22:52

5. Elmandy Ghumbo / Osward Chibebe (Z/Z) VW Golf (GpS)                3:34:47 

* Registered ARC Drivers

 

2007 ARC Final standings After Round 7 - Zambia International Rally

 

DRIVERS

1. Conrad Rautenbach   (Zimbabwe)       85 points

2. Muna Singh               (Zambia)            68 points

3. Lola Verlaque           (South Africa)     27 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. David Sihoka            (Zambia)           72 points

2. Peter Marsh             (Zimbabwe)       69 points

3. Megan Verlaque       (South Africa)   27 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           105 points

2. Mitsubishi       44 points

 

 

 

By IGNATIUS MAZEKO
CHISAMBA, Saturday (18:00 hours)

DAVE Sihoka’s chances of a third FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) navigators’ title brightened yesterday after his partner Muna Singh took an overnight pole position in the 480.78-kilometres-long Zambia International Motor Rally today in Chisamba, north of Lusaka.

Driving a Madison Subaru Impreza N10, the duo dominated the day winning all nine competitive stages and grabbing three bonus points apiece going into the final leg tomorrow when Sihoka will only need 11 more points to become African champion.

“We now have to hold on to the lead and see what we can do tomorrow. We will make a reasonable speed and sensible driving, it will be silly for us to waste a comfortable two-minute lead,” Muna said.

The Zambians made their intentions felt as early as the first stage of the day after taking over the lead from super special stage winners Zimbabweans James Whyte/Phil Archenoul (Jialing Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo 8) who retired in the subsequent stage with a broken gearbox shaft.

It summed up a disastrous season for the two Zimbabweans who are yet to finish any of the FIA ARC events they have competed in this season ending the campaign without a point to their credit.  

All the three Evos from Zimbabwe crashed out of the race after Shaun Whyte/David Milner (Jialing Evo 6) and teenager Chase Attwell/Mike Exton (Motorway Evo 6) bed farewell to the rally with mechanical problems respectively in section one and two.  

According to provisional unofficial results, the 2004 and 2005 African champions timed one hour 29 minutes 20 seconds to end the day two hours 43 seconds quicker than second-placed compatriots Paul Monge/Ray Thornicroft (Total Subaru N11).

“I am in second position at this stage which is good but is important is to have Zambians at the top and we have do so by taking the top three positions. This confirms that the Subarus are stronger than the Evos, endurance is more important at this point,” Monge said.  

Three minutes 36 seconds off the pace in third position was Rammy Singh/Gary Ishmail (Engen Subaru) followed by the ‘Rally Chicks’, Lola and Megan Verlaque (Bosch/Total Subaru N10) of South Africa who clocked 1:33:05 seconds.  

However, the Chicks get two bonus points each for finishing second behind Muna and Sihoka in the continental race from today’s leg since Monge/Thornicroft and Rammy/Ishmail are not eligible for FIA ARC honours.

“It was a good day for us, the roads are nice but of course they (Zambian crews) had home advantage over us but we will press on tomorrow because I want another podium finish,” Lola said.

Action tomorrow moves to Fringilla, where crews will have an overnight halt, for the final eight stages that totals 240.20-km of which 99.11-km is competitive. Podium finish has been set for the Holiday Inn at 15:00 hours local time.

Ends


WHYTE BROTHERS TAKE TOP SLOTS ON DAY ONE OF |THE ZAMBIA INTERNATIONAL NOTOR RALLY

 

By IGNATIUS MAZEKO
LUSAKA, Friday (18:30)
ZIMBABWEAN brothers James and Shaun Whyte claimed top two positions from the super special stage on day one of the Zambia International Motor Rally when some crews overshot on a 2.11-kilometre sprint circuit at the Lusaka Motor Club in the Showgrounds.
This rally is the closing round of the seven round 2007 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) and is to determine if Zambia’s Dave Sihoka wins the navigators’ title to deny Zimbabwean Peter Marsh, who co-drives countryman Conrad Rautenbach. 
“The day was okay our time was 2.19. We are ready to attach tomorrow you know us, we diesel machines (slow starters), we need heat up,” said Muna said at the Club.
“We know what we want fro this rally, we are aiming for something and that is to win it for Dave (Sihoka) that’s why we are going flat out tomorrow,” added the 2004 and 2005 African champion. 
According to provisional unofficial results, Muna Singh/Sihoka (Madison Subaru Impreza N10), Paul Monge/Ray Thornicroft (Total Subaru N11) and the ‘Rally Chicks’ Lola/Megan Verlaque (Bosch and Total) of South Africa finished three seconds off the pace in joint third position.
Navigated by compatriot Phil Archenoul in a Jialing Lancer Mitsubishi Evo 8, veteran James took overnight pole position after clocking two minutes 16 seconds to finish the race a second quicker than his young brother Shaun in a Jialing Evo 6.
Abdalla Hamad/Lastone Chulu (Nosh Subaru N10) was a further eight seconds adrift the leader in fourth position and just a second ahead of national champions Rammy Singh/Gary Ishmail (Engen Subaru) who finished fifth.
Much improving Zimbabwean teenager Chase Attwell/Mike Exton (Evo 6) finished 12 seconds off the pace to get sixth position.
No points towards the FIA ARC standings are accrued from the super special unless tomorrow and Sunday when action moves to farming areas around Chisamba, north of Lusaka, for the rally proper.
Classified overall unofficial provisional results

1.        J. Whyte/Archenoul (Jialing Motorsport Evo8) 00:02:16 seconds

2.        S. Whyte/David Milner (Jialing Motorsport Evo 6) 00:02:17 seconds

3.        L. Verlaque/M. Verlaque (Bosch/Total Subaru N10) 00:02:19 seconds

4.        M. Singh/Ishmail (Madison Subaru) 00:02:19 seconds


16 CARS UNDERGO SCRUTINEERING AT AUTOWORLD
By IGNATIUS MAZEKO
LUSAKA, Friday (14:30)
SIXTEEN crews from the expected 17 made it for Zambia International Motor Rally first scrutineering conducted by FIA official Viren Goricha at the new Autoworld Downtown outlet.
The Zambia International Motor Rally is the final round of the seven-round 2007 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) series.
Locals Nicolai Aall/ Mughal Akbar (VW Golf) could not make it for scrutineering and no information has been availed on their unavailability.
The ‘Rally Chicks’, Lola and Megan Verlaque (Bosch and Total Subaru Impreza N10) of South Africa were the first to go through first scrutineering conducted by FIA official Viren Goricha.
Surprisingly, the exercise attracted a sizeable crowd which was very unusual considering how crazy Zambians follow motorsport, particularly the rally discipline.
Super special stage will follow in the next hour at the Lusaka Motor Club track in the Showgrounds.
The Zambia International Motor Rally will decide who wins the FIA ARC navigators’ title. Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach grabbed the drivers’ title on home soil last month during the Dunlop Zimbabwe Challenge.
Zambian Dave Sihoka, who navigates compatriot Muna Singh in a Madison Subaru N10 needs 14 points to surpass current leader Peter Marsh of Zimbabwe to claim the African title he won in 2004 and 2005 Super special stage
Ends

ALL SET FOR ZAMBIA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR RALLY
By IGNATIUS MAZEKO
LUSAKA, Thursday

ALL IS set for the 2007 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) season closing event, the Zambia International Motor Rally, which revs off tomorrow afternoon with a ceremonial start at the plush Holiday Inn.
The 10.59-kilometres super special stage, whose sprint distance is 2.11-kilometres, will follow thereafter at the Lusaka Motor Club in the Showgrounds.  
This 480.78-kilometres-long rally will decide who wins the FIA ARC navigator’s title which Muna Singh’s co-driver Dave Sihoka of Zambia can grab if the crew manage to garner more then 13 points from a maximum 16.
Zimbabwean Peter Marsh, who navigates compatriot and already confirmed African champion Conrad Rautenbach in a works Subaru Impreza N10, leads the co-drivers’ chart with 69 points but none of them is racing here this weekend.
The grey-haired Sihoka, who has just come from Tanzania where he was navigating local driver Amerjit Dhillon, has 56 points. 
Five foreign crews arrived Tuesday and are among the 17 entrants who are currently undergoing the second day of reconnaissance on the stages in Chisamba, a farming area located north of Lusaka.
Leading the contingent are the ‘Rally Chicks’ Lola Verlaque and Megan, from South African using a Bosch and Total Subaru Impreza who are laying joint fourth on the FIA ARC standings with 15 apiece.
These sisters were part of the people who attended the Toyota zero cars unveiling cocktail party last night at Holiday Inn, venue of the Rally Headquarters.
The Chicks are coming to Zambia barely a week after signing a new subsidiary sponsorship deal with Ocean Basket South Africa. There were last here in 2005 when they finished fifth
Interestingly, they opted for Zambian round of the FIA ARC at the expense of the sixth round of this season’s SASOL South Africa Rally Championship, the Osram Rally which is also taking place this weekend in Bloemfontein. 
“The roads are not good there (Bloemfontein), they are straight which means no skill involved that’s why we have decided to come here (Lusaka). We like it here,” said a smiling Lola last night at Holiday Inn pool side.
From Zimbabwe comes veteran Jamie Whyte/ Phil Archenoul in a Jialing Mitsubishi Evo 8 who will be hoping to put to an end what has been a miserable African outing for them this season having failed to complete any of the continental events the have competed in.
Jamie/Archenoul, the Chicks including 2004 and 2005 African champions Muna/Sihoka (Madison Subaru N10) and Paul ‘Poncho’ Monge/Ray Thornicroft (Total Subaru N11) are the only crews eligible for FIA ARC points.  
The rest of the foreign crews that have entered that rally are Chase Attwell/Gareth Dawe, who will be driving a Motorways Evo 6, Shaun Whyte/David Milner (Jialing Evo 6) and Gordon Mackay/Miles Skinner (Faith Toyota Levin).
The locals are reining national champion Rammy Singh/Gary Ishmail (Subaru), 2005 winner Charles Kapya/Goeffrey Chulu (Total Subaru), Abdalla Hamad/Lastone Chulu (Subaru), Mohamed Essa/Ajit Naik (Subaru) and Azim Ticklay/Imran Ticklay (Toyota Landcruiser).

Others are Elmandy Gumboh/ Osward Chibebe (Petrotech VW Golf 4), Ashish Patel/Jimmy Dons (Subaru), Nicolas Aall/Mughal Akbar (VW Golf) Fred Wamalu/Max Malauni (Toyota Celica), Siddharth Josh/Ben Liebenberg (Toyota Celica).  
Ends

 
 
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