Double African Rally Championship (ARC) champions Jamie Whyte and Phil Archenoul, were honoured for the second consecutive year at the annual Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) awards gala in Monaco recently.
The FIA awards are held annually to honour and present silverware to all the winners of motorsport championships for the calendar year.
This was the second consecutive appearance at the awards gala by Whyte and Archenoul after they made history by becoming the first Zimbabweans to defend the six-legged championship.
Whyte emerged as the overall drivers’ champion while Archenoul also won the co-drivers’ title for the second time in a row in the ACR.
The gruelling season took them through Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and finally Zimbabwe, which earned them an opportunity to rub shoulders with the all the stars in motorsport.
“The event was held at the Monte Carlo Sports Centre in Monaco on December 10 and it was an honour to rub shoulders with the global stars of motorsport for the second year running.
“We had an opportunity to meet the Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Mark Weber and World Rally Championship winner Sebastian Loeb.” said Archenoul who has been competing in motor rally for the past 25 years.
The event was also graced by FIA President Jean Todt and Formula One CEO and President, Bernie Ecclestone. Some of the other categories that were honored at the event include the FIA European, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Americas Rally Championships.
The duo’s achievements capped yet another successful season for Zimbabwean motorsport but were not nominated for the Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) despite the whole world appreciating their efforts.
Two Zimbabwean drivers Conrad Rautenbach and Robson Maganezi took part in the Sasol South African Rally Championship with the later finishing as runner-up in the N3 Class Championship.