By YVONNE SAKALA –
NATIONAL champion Muna Singh Junior says he is ready to win the two-day Zambia International Rally which revs off today in Chisamba and has attracted 35 drivers.
Muna said in an interview that his aim was to win the 456.01km rally so that he can topple Kenyan driver Don Smith on the African Rally Championship drivers standing and enhance his chances of winning the continental title.
Smith leads the log with 36 points followed by Muna and Ivorian Gary Chaynes both on 25 points but the trio should expect a tough race from former Africa and Zambia champion Muna Singh senior, who is currently leading the national rally championship standing.
Jassy Singh, also a former African and Zambian champion, makes a return to the rally and will be joined by the likes of Geoffrey Chulu, who is itching for podium finish having missed the 2015 edition.
“I do not see much competition during the rally, my car is 100 percent in good shape and I am heading for the ARC. My focus is to win the rally and get the 25 points and close the gap on the standings. I want to race a clean rally and I don’t want to destroy my car,” Muna Jr said.
This year’s rally has, however, seen a decrease in the number of foreign drivers participating with Smith being the only competitor racing in the championship.
Other local drivers are Azim Ticklay, Miles Monge, Geoffrey Chulu, Zubair Essa, Mayur Patel, Toofail Dala, Chimanga Biyela, Mohammed Hassan, Kleevan Gomes, Mike Malala, Yazdaan Ticklay and Ismail Shermohammed
The only notable absence this year will be the spectator stage but Zambia Motor Sport Association (ZMSA) president Sam Ching’ambu has promised rally fans a spectacular event.
“All is set for the rally that starts off at the Hotel InterContinental at 08:00 hours before proceeding to Chisamba at the Graham Rae Farms. Apologises to the fans and sponsors for not having the special spectator stage but we promise you a thrilling event,” he said.
Ching’ambu said this when Madison General Insurance pumped in K250, 000 worth of public liability sponsorship
Madison General Insurance managing director Chabala Lumbwe said during a press briefing at company premises that the sponsorship package will cover insurance policy for any spectators who will be injured.
“We have been partners with the motorsport association for a very long time, we have produced two rally champions and we look forward to continuing being involved with the success of the sport,” Lumbwe said.