Mangat sets sights on unique double at Independence Rally
Posted Saturday, October 5 2013 at 01:00
Kampala- Not many people can lay claim to the fact that they envisaged Jas Mangat becoming both National and Africa Rally champion this season.
But today, Mangat has the opportunity of completing the first of those two tasks when he is flagged off at the Super Special Stage of the Independence Rally this morning
With a maximum 200 points left to race for in the National Rally Championship (NRC), Mangat is an overwhelming favourite to clinch back to back titles for the first time since Charlie Lubega did so more than a decade ago.
Having failed to finish in his last race, the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally, Mangat knows he cannot afford a similar scenario.
“I have gone through the route twice so there is not much for me to worry about,” Mangat said.
“I will make sure I complete the rally so that I give myself time to concentrate on the Madagascar leg of the African Rally Championship,” added Mangat.
Mangat claimed the NRC title last year after winning the Independence Rally. Mangat had in an earlier interview also confirmed that he was switching to the Subaru N12 for this race after his Mitsubishi Evo X developed mechanical failure in Rwanda two weeks ago.
He will also go into the rally as the in-form driver having won the last three events; The Martyr’s Rally, MPU and the Pearl of Africa Rally and finished second at the Freedom City Rally. With only two other drivers having won this season in Ponsiano Lwakataka (Mbarara) and Ronald Ssebuguzi (Festino Rally) it will be difficult for anyone to beat him.
The 395km rally attracted 34 crews but has been hit by a number of high profile withdrawals with former champion Lwakataka joining Susan Muwonge and Wycliffe Bukenya in missing the event.
The rally continues tomorrow with the second leg that has nine competitive sections covering the areas of Kalagi, Kabimbiri, Namataba and Nakifuma.
ABOUT JAS MANGAT
Jas Mangat can smile now as the road behind him has been extremely rocky. It has taken him almost six years to win a rally outside Uganda. A triumph in Tanzania changed that entirely and he followed that up with an impressive second place amongst the ARC candidates in the KCB Safari Rally. Perhaps winning his first NRC title last year changed his mindset completely. Previously known to be an obscene risk taker which let him down many times, Mangat has changed. The hard work has been done but he must wrap it up.
CURRENT ARC STANDINGS
Jas Mangat (UGA) 83 points
Jassy Singh (ZMB) 81
Giancarlo Davite (RWA) 58
Mohamed Essa (ZMB) 50
Jas Mangat (EVO X) 435
Ronald Ssebuguzi (EVOIX) 236
Arthur Blick Jnr (Subaru N10) 203