Zimbabwe motor rally hotshot Conrad Rautenbach and his French co-driver Nicolas Klinger face a busy schedule when they take part in two rallies inside two weeks.
The G-Fuel team of Rautenbach will be aiming to maintain their lead in the South African Rally Championship next week Friday when they take part in the two-day inaugural HMC national rally from May 13-14.
The HMC national rally is the third round of the 2011 South African Rally Championship.
Rautenbach will get back to business five days later, this time in Zambia at the Zambia International Rally to be held in Lusaka from May 20-22.
Reports from Zambia say foreign crews and 12 Zambian ones are set to participate in the Zambia International Rally, the third round of the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC).
The G-Fuel team of Rautenbach heads the ARC points log with 50 points and the SA Rally Championship table with 33 points, a lead of 17 and 11 points in the respective championships.
In the ARC, Rautenbach has won the first two races of the championships at the Toyota Zimbabwe Challenge Rally and the Sasol Rally in Nelspruit Mpumalanga recently.
In the SA Rally Championship the 26-year-old local driver won the opening leg of the championship, the Total Tour Natal Rally in Durban in March, before finishing in third place at the Sasol Rally in Nelspruit last month.
Meanwhile according to reports from Zambia five Zimbabwean crews led by reigning African champion Jamie Whyte in a Subaru Impreza WRX and Rautenbach driving G-Fuel Ford Fiesta S2000 will feature at the Zambia International Rally.
Young Chase Attwell in a Toyota Auris S2000 and Craig Green driving a Mitsubishi Lancer, will be hoping for better fortunes after doing well in the initial stages at the Sasol Rally in South Africa before suffering mechanical problems on the last day.
Enterprising female Zimbabwean driver Lorraine Marufu is also expected to compete in Zambia in her Toyota Corolla RSi in what will be her second race in the ARC after the Toyota Zimbabwe Challenge Rally where she finished an impressive sixth.
Others who will be jostling for honours are South Africa’s Schalke Burger (Jr) aboard a Power Line Africa Mitsubishi Evo X and Rwandese Giancarlo Davite in a Subaru Impreza WRX.
Some of the Zambian crews who have already confirmed participation are Muna, his son Jassy, turning out in a VW Golf 2, Mohammed Essa in his faithful Madison Subaru WRX, Paul Monge, Imran Ticklay, Ashish Patel, Ken Mukosa; all Subaru WRXs, Azim Ticklay, Dani Beaini (both in Toyota Landcruisers) and Lastone Chulu who will be driving a Corolla RSi.
Zambia Motor Sport Association vice-president Sam Ching’ambu told the Times of Zambia in Lusaka yesterday that the organising committee is expecting 12 local crews to enter the contest.
Ching’ambu said the opening stage would be a 15,4-kilometre super special stage, in the Show grounds on May 20 after the ceremonial start at Hotel Inter-Continental.
Zambia’s Muna Singh, who will be racing in his Madison Subaru WRX, is defending the 595,21 kilometre-long rally.