Local drivers ready for Oryx Rally of Tanzania

17Jul 2021
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Local drivers ready for Oryx Rally of Tanzania

TANZANIA's rally champions, Dharam Pandya and Tufail Amin, say they are ready to compete in the coming Oryx Rally of Tanzania which is to take place in Dar es Salaam and Ubena Area, Coast Region next week.

The Tanzanian round of African Rally Championship (ARC), dubbed 'Oryx Rally of Tanzania', was launched by Automobile Association of Tanzania (AAT) in the city on Thursday and it is expected to involve 34 cars, 34 drivers and 34 navigators.

Speaking yesterday, Amin, the Oryx Rally of Tanzania champion in 2018, said all is set for the event.

He said this year will be special to him as it marks his comeback to rally after being out of action for almost two years.

Amin said his navigator is Jackson Victor, who is also making a comeback after three years of absence from navigation.

He thanked his sponsor, Jadeja Farming LTD, for supporting his comeback and promised not to let the sponsor down.

"I have been out of action for two years, while my navigator Victor was out for three years, so this year we are making a comeback. I really thank my sponsor, Jadeja Farming LTD, for supporting me and I promise to work hard at the event," he said.

Dharam Kirit Pandya, who won the 2019 edition of the rally, said he is fully prepared for the championship. Pandya added his aim is to bring smiles to Tanzanians, who love the sport.

"I'm excited and thankful to my family and sponsors who gave me a chance to do a comeback...specially my navigator Veer Darbar, who is always a pillar behind the scene,'' he disclosed.

''Special thanks should go to Jadeja Farming from Southern Highland (Mbeya), Asam Oil and Chartered Airline FlightLink, thanks also to my father, former rally champion, Kirit, for their support without which I could not have managed to excel,'' he said.

Pandya also hailed the coming of Kenya drivers who will be hosted at his Pandya Garage in Dar es Salaam. The three Kenyans will compete for World Rally Championships (Junior).

He also said Ugandan champion Yasin Naser will make the event more explosive in skills and horsepower.

The Oryx Rally of Tanzania Championship is the third round of African Rally Championship 2020/21. Others are Ivory Coast Rally Bandama and Kenya Equator Rally.

On Thursday, AAT president, Nizar Jivani, said the two-day event will take place at Ubena, covering 220km.

He said other top class drivers from outside the country expected to compete include Duncan Mubiru from Uganda, South African Guy Botterill and Kenyan Carl Tundo.

He said the number of drivers this year is quite big, compared to other years, and thanked all sponsors of the rally, including main sponsor, Oryx Energies Company, which has been bankrolling the rally for the past six years, Asas, Azam Media, Advert Construction and others.

The AAT president said rally is growing into a major spectator sporting event in the country.

According to Jivani, drivers on the ARC circuit have inspired many young and new talents to take up the rallying in the country.

He said the AAT mission is to cultivate the spirit of rallying in the hearts and minds of young enthusiasts by hosting the rally in the country.

"This year Oryx Rally of Tanzania will take place next week from July 23-25, number of drivers is very big, for the first time we have 34 drivers, others are from outside the country,'' Jivani disclosed.

''We have drivers from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and South Africa, on the first day it will cover 88 kilometers while the last day will be a 130-kilometer event, it promises to be more spectacular, competitive and entertaining,'' he explained.

He explained that opening of the rally will be held in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday next week, scrutinizing will be held on Thursday at the Wheel in Mikocheni.

The following day will see pre-rally media briefing and ceremonial start take place, while on Saturday it will be qualifying stage.

On Sunday morning the rally will start and podium activities will be held later on the day.

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