Dunlop Challenge Rally set
The 43rd edition of the Challenge Rally is expected to draw the largest pool of participants in more than ten years and teams are expected to come from Zambia, South Africa, Belgium, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia and Botswana. The event ‘ like in all the past years ‘ will be in three stages starting at Donnybrook on the Friday with three vehicles at time involved in the super-special stage that follows a fast gravel and tar course. The second stage would be at Norton Country Club where the course is entirely gravel while day three will see action in and around Arcturus and Enterprise before the racers round off the event at Donnybrook in the afternoon. Last year Conrad Rautenbach of Zimbabwe wrote a piece of history when he became the youngest rally driver to win the race at the age of 20 and that also meant that he became the first local driver to win the event that was previously won by his father Billy, who scooped the title three times. The rally is organised by Sables Motor Club under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Motor Sport Federation and the FIA, world motor sport’s governing body. Last year’s victor and the youngest winner of an FIA African Rally Championship event to date Rautenbach will be around to defend his title and high competition is expected as Richard Robinson of also of Zimbabwe would be hoping to make his presence felt. Robinson is at present second-placed in the drivers’ championship standings of the African Rally Championship, following good showings in the legs to date in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Other international names are likely to be Riyaz Kurji of Uganda and Zambia’s Muna Singh, who won the Challenge two years ago. Craig Batten, chairman of Sables Motor Club and a member of the Challenge’s organising committee, said this year’s event promises to be bigger and better. “It’s all systems go for the 2006 Dunlop Zimbabwe Challenge Rally, and we hope this event will keep up with the tradition we have set of each year being bigger and better than the previous. “We have in the past few years received exceptionally positive feedback and reports from the FIA on our management and handling of the Challenge, which confirms its status as one of Africa’s most important and best-run motorsport events,” said Batten. The Dunlop Zimbabwe Challenge Rally is a leg of the FIA African Rally Championship and the Zimbabwe national rally championship, as well as of the Zim-Zam Series. The Zim-Zam Rally was introduced last year to add excitement to the rally communities of Zimbabwe and Zambia with a number of reciprocating rallies in each country.