2012 African Rally Championship standings - Top 3:
Mohammad Essa 89pts
Giancarlo Davite 40pts
Jess Watson 25pts
Rwanda's speedster Giancarlo Davite revived his hopes of a maiden African Rally Championship title after a third spot finish in the Shell Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally. After failing to finish the last two rounds (Zambia international rally and KCB Safari rally), Davite's chances looked very slim but a podium finish in Uganda has given him some hope.
Initially, Uganda's Ronald Ssebuguzi seemed to have claimed third place but Davite lodged a protest and eventually dislodged Ssebuguzi from the podium. Davite complained that the Ugandan had been given a light penalty for changing his car's gear box during the 644.89km race.
Ssebuguzi had been penalised for six minutes but the punishment was increased to nine minutes after Davite's complaint.
Zambia's Mohammed Essa used two hours, 38 minutes and 10 seconds minutes to become the seventh foreign driver to win the event.
The win puts the 23-year-old in sight of his maiden ARC title.
"This win is a bonus for me," Essa said. "Before I set off from Zambia, my aim was to finish in the top three. I have enjoyed the event although the roads were a bit rough."
The Zambian's closest challenger - Jas Mangat - finished three minutes and two second later.
Davite now has to win the remaining rounds (Kobil rally of Tanzania, KCB Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally and Madagascar International Rally) and hope that Essa fails to finish the races to have a realistic chance of winning the ARC crown which still eludes him.