Cape Town's Fernando Rueda and Johannesburg based co-driver, Martin Botha, won the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally that ended this afternoon and scored their fourth successive win in the 2003 FIA African Rally Championship. Rueda/Botha, in the 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V1 won by 2 minutes 50 seconds in spite of suffering two punctures that cost them nearly six minutes.

Rueda/Botha won all of the stages except the two on which they suffered the puncture. He said after the event that it was a hard and long event that was very rough in places. "The open road sections are very scary", he said.

Rueda/Botha have scored full points on each of the four rounds of the ARC African Rally Championship held so far this year and are leading on 40 points. It is his first attempt at winning the African Rally Championship, while it is Botha's second attempt.

Rueda/Botha won the first round of the ARC on the TOTAL Rally South Africa and also the Dunlop Zimbabwe Challenge and the Rally of Zambia. He now has the championship firmly in sight and only needs to win the next round, the TOTAL Pearl Of Africa Rally to secure the championship.

Rueda and Botha will be the third successive South Africa rally crew to win the ARC. Schalk Burger/Piet Swanepoel won in 2001, and Johnny Gemmell/Robert Paisley won in 2002.

This is also the first time that a Mitsubishi Lancer has lead the championship and won four of the seven rounds. The win follows on Rueda's fine second place in his 2003 Sasol DualFuel supported Mitsubishi Lancer on the recently held Volkswagen Rally held in Port Elizabeth as round five of the Sasol DualFuel SA National Championship.

Original article from Car