By SANDRA MWILA –
TAJ Pamodzi Hotel yesterday came to the aid of Zambia Motor Sport Association (ZMSA) after giving them a sponsorship package worth US$ 18, 000 towards hosting the Gomes Pembe Zambia International Rally.
About 37 drivers, who include FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) champion-in-waiting Manvir Baryan, have entered the rally set for October 21-22 in Chisamba and would cover a distance of 274.8km.
ZMSA president Sam Ching’ambu said at a press briefing held to launch this year’s Zambia International Motor Rally that the association was glad to return to Pamodzi Hotel after 20 years.
Pamodzi last hosted the Zambia International rally in 1997 which attracted four foreign drivers compared to this year’s event that has seven confirmations already.
“The International rally will be a significant event because this will be the second time the champion will be crowned on Zambian soil. We are glad to be back to Taj after 20 years because hosting the rally here brings good luck,” Ching’ambu said.
The rally will rev off at Pamdozi before heading to Chisamba at Graham Rae Farms with Ching’ambu saying the deadline for entries has been set for October 6.
Pamodzi general manager Rajeev Khanna said it was a pleasure to be associated with the Zambia International rally.
“We are delighted to be part of this event as part of our social responsibility and we also wish ZMSA a successful event,” Khaana said.
Meanwhile, Baryan, who is currently topping the ARC drivers log with 90 points, would be crowned champion should he finish ahead of Zambia’s Leroy Gomes who is second with 65 points.
Others that will be competing include 2013 ARC champion Jassy Singh, who is also defending his Zambia International Rally title and be battling for the national rally championship points with his father Muna.
Drivers from Namibia, Kenya, Belgium, Tanzania and South Africa have also confirmed participation.