NRC champ Mangat on course for double
Posted Tuesday, October 8 2013 at 01:00
Mangat is set to become the first Ugandan to win the NRC and ARC titles in one year.
PAST NRC WINNERS
2012: Jas Mangat
2011: Susan Muwonge
2010: Nasser Mutebi
Going into the Independence Rally, the penultimate round of what has relatively been an easy defence of the 2013 National Rally Championship (NRC), Jas Mangat knew what was at stake.
Finish the rally and complete the first part of a unique double ,no Ugandan driver has achieved ;which is winning the NRC and African Rally Championship (ARC) in the same season. And on Sunday the first hurdle was jumped easier perhaps than what Mangat might have anticipated.
After winning the Super Special Stage at Festino City on Saturday, little did Mangat know that his nearest championship challenger Ronald Ssebuguzi, who he beat into second place on Saturday, would decline to take part in the second leg later on Sunday. Such has been his dominance on the local scene that Ssebuguzi (199 points behind before the race at the weekend with 200 available) did not find it worthy to compete in the second leg. With all his nearest challengers opting out, Mangat strolled to his fourth victory in six races in a time of 1:31:41 followed by Geoffrey “Black Widow” Kiyaga 1:36:38 and Satvinder Singh 1:40:22.
John Consta had briefly threatened to wrestle top spot from Mangat after winning CS 1A and CS 2 but eventually retired while trailing by more than two minutes after CS4 leaving Mangat to win his second consecutive Independence Rally. The rally though was disrupted by crowds waiting to welcome Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi as he visited his subjects in Mukono District. “I also slowed down like other drivers to avoid running into the people,” Mangat told the Daily Monitor after the race.
There were no celebrations though for Mangat as he had his mind more on the ARC with the last leg due in Madagascar next month. “I said before the weekend that I am focussing more on the ARC. That was my first priority since the start of the season and I intend to do everything possible to try and win it, he said.
Mangat also revealed that he will not be using his Evo X in Madagascar despite what is at stake. “It is too expensive to take the car down there (Madagascar) and unless I get a sponsor soon I will hire another car, probably a Subaru N12 and I think it will be able to do the job for me.”