Saturday September 8 2018

Mangat, Ssebuguzi set to rivalry rekindle in Bunyoro

Darkhorse.  Reigning Kabalega Rally champion Alwi is raring to go. PHOTO: JB SSENKUBUGE

Darkhorse. Reigning Kabalega Rally champion Alwi is raring to go. FILE PHOTO  

By JOHN BATANUDDE

KAMPALA.

Jas Mangat, the National Rally Championship (NRC) leader with 305 points and eighth-placed Dr Ashraf Ahmed are separated by 181 points going into the Kabalega Umospoc Rally, the penultimate round on FMU calendar.
Thus mathematically the top eight drivers still have a chance of winning this season’s NRC title.

But that said, all eyes will be on Mangat (2012, 2013, 2016) and Ssebuguzi (2006, 2009, 2014), who share six national titles between.
Just like the battle for Formula One title between Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Sebastien Vettel in Ferrari, both with four titles and are battling for fifth, Mangat and Ssebuguzi are both gunning for a fourth title.
Whoever comes out top in Hoima this weekend will inch closer to claiming the bragging rights. The two are separated by only 15 points but will not be in Bunyoro.
But something will have to let go this weekend and Joseph Kamya, the navigator for Mangat in Evo X, ‘Ekisodde’ is confident of victory. “Our aim is to enjoy and score points. We have failed to score maximum points on two occasions this season. We dropped out in Masaka and, then finished third in the Pearl Rally which gave Ssebuguzi the chance to close gap.”
Leon Ssenyange, the co-driver for Ssebuguzi in Evo X, hopes to improve on fourth place finish last year and keep the pressure on Mangat. “It’s going to be an exciting event for us since there are about three drivers in contention for the national title,” he said.
However, having won the event last year, Hassan Alwi is all out to upset the favourites. “I know I can win the event again and finish the season strongly,” he told the Score. A total of 32 drivers have registered for the event which has a total of 416.60km, of which 221.69km is competitive.

NRC standings

1. Jas Mangat 305 pts
2. Ronald Ssebuguzi 290
3. Suzan Muwonge 245
4. Unisan Bakunda 194
5. Kephar Walubi 180
6. Christakis Fitidis 140
7. Hassan Alwi 134
8. Dr Ashraf Ahmed 124

Competitive Stages Day 1

Mparo-Kikwatamigo 13km
Mparo -Miika Eco 26km
Kontik Super Special-Stage 3km

Competitive Stages Day two

Kihungura-Kyamasuka 26km
Bugambe-Bugembe 17km
Kibararu-Kasingo 47km

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