ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver Manvir Baryan (Multiple Racing Team) is on the brink of the FIA African Rally Championship title after victory at the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally (8th to 10th September), the penultimate round of the ARC season. It was his third victory in a row and means that he is all but mathematically certain of being the champion.
Knowing that the title was his to lose before this rally, Baryan and his British co-driver Drew Sturrock were keen to avoid any unforced errors in Rwanda and so took a cautious approach to this rally. But despite that, they dominated proceedings with a composed and impressive drive, winning every special stage on the way to a comfortable victory. They ended up 3 minutes and 34 seconds ahead of their closest rivals.
“Winning the rally was not in our plans but we are glad it happened this way,” said Manvir Baryan afterwards. “Overall the event was great, we had both the rough and the smooth side. We now look forward to the final event in Zambia. We are now in a good position for the championship because the gap has now widened and we are more or less champions. I am confident of winning the Zambian challenge, but we still have to beat Leeroy Gomes there.”
Baryan leads the championship from Zambia’s Leeroy Gomes, who only finished fourth in Rwanda. ŠKODA driver just needs to finish at the final event of the season, the Zambia International Rally, which takes place on 21st and 22nd October, to be sure of the title.