Dawe confident of continental glory

HARARE - Zimbabwe's motor rally navigator Gareth Dawe believes winning the Sasol Rally earlier this month with driver Mohammed Essa of Zambia has given the pair renewed confidence of bagging the FIA Africa Rally Championship.

The duo currently seat second on the FIA Africa Rally Championships (ARC) standings after powering their Subaru Impreza N16 to victory in the second round of the ARC on April 12.

Gary Chaynes and Comas Romain of the Ivory Coast, who are driving a Mitsubishi Evo 10, currently lead the eight legged ARC series with 43 points, 18 points clear of Dawe and Essa.

The Ivorians won the ARC opening round in their home country and will be looking to rediscover that form when they take part in the Zambia International Motor Rally from May 16 to 18 2014.

The third round of the ARC series will run in the Farms of Chisamba, North of Lusaka with Dawe and Essa fancying their chances reducing the pacesetters lead.

And Dawe knows he has big shoes to fill after taking over from fellow Zimbabwean Greg Stead who in 2011 guided Essa to the continental rallying championship.

“For sure being crowned African champion would be a great feat; we are concentrating on one rally at a time, and move forward from there,” Dawe told Zambian media this week.

“I look forward to the upcoming Zambian international Rally and meeting some more fantastic people.”

Dawe’s collaboration with Essa in the Zambia National Rally Championships did not start well, falling out of the race due to mechanic failure.

“Unfortunately our first rally together did not go according to plan; falling out of a rally due to mechanical failure is always a hard pill to swallow. We approached the Sasol rally with good spirits as we had prepared the car well for it and the result shows,” Dawe said.

The 39-year-old revealed that he is worried at the absence of motor rallying in Zimbabwe, which was once a vibrant component of the FIA ARC series.

“Unfortunately rallying in Zimbabwe has come to an end,” Dawe said.

“There are other forms of motorsports that have taken off again, being main circuit racing and drags which has a huge following.

“The press was completely behind us and echoed our victory in the papers.

“There is a huge development at the moment on the kart circuit which in time will have a knock on effect onto the main circuit bringing in new drivers and cars.”

The ARC navigator made his debut into rallying in 1995 on the Zimbabwe Challenge Rally navigating for Brendan Long in a Datsun B 1500.

Dawe has had the opportunity to navigate various drivers winning the two wheel drive championship in Zimbabwe and the ZimZam series.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.