Top drivers, Lwakataka in bitter row
Posted Wednesday, March 13 2013 at 02:00
NRC standings leader says his opponents are cowards trying to win events in the boardroom.
A bitter row resulting from the Freedom City Challenge Rally at the weekend is threatening to tear the motosport fraternity apart.
In one corner is National Rally Championship (NRC) standings leader Ponsiano Lwakataka and an Omar Mayanja-led group in the other.
The Mayanja camp accuses Lwakataka of using underhand methods, including handing in two time cards, in a bid to win the event that climaxed on Sunday. They feel his actions tantamount to cheating.
Although he eventually finished third behind Jas Mangat and winner Ronald Ssebuguzi, Mayanja and company insist that the event stewards should have disqualified Lwakataka.
Mayanja petitioned the organisers and has been backed by Mangat, Duncan Mubiru, Christakis Fitidis, Ssebuguzi, Edson Mungyereza, Geofrey Nsamba and Joe Burua.
“This is not personal. We want to clean up the sport,” Mayanja, who paid the Shs500,000 petition fee, said following a meeting between the aggrieved drivers at Kati Kati Restaurant, Lugogo, on Monday.
Lwakataka and his co-driver George Ssemakula have, however, branded their counterparts as cowards trying to win events in the boardroom.
“We are ready to face the competitions committee. The mistake was made by clerk of the course (COC). We did not gain any advantage by having two time cards,” Lwakataka said. “The COC acknowledged the mistake.
Let other drivers beat us on the road. For us when they beat us we don’t complain, we just plan for next event.” Lwakataka was handed a five-minute penalty for his actions but Mayanja insists that such an offence calls for a disqualification not a time-penalty.
The local sport’s governing body FMU general secretary Reynolds Kibira Kadok, acknowledged receipt of Mayanja’s petition. He said they would meet soon to appoint a team to investigate the issue in 30 days.
Lwakataka currently leads the NRC standings with 164 points followed by Mubiru on 117 and Fitidis (115). If found guilty, Lwakataka will lose 60 points.