Accusations take gloss off NRC title

Saturday December 7 2019

 

By Fredrick Musisi kiyingi

Yassin Nasser’s controversial entry into motorsport during the UMC Mountain of the Moon Rally in Fort Portal in July 2015 and his dramatic triumph last weekend during the Mosac Rally in Kapeeka, Luweero, underline the man himself. He a winner.
In 2015, there was a standoff between the drivers on one side and the organisers on the other. The drivers had decided to boycott the event if Nasser was denied participation basing on the new entrant rule that orders new drivers to start in 2WD cars. The drivers got their way, Nasser was permitted to participate midway through the season. The rest is history.

Four years later, he has come of age getting crowned with the National Rally Championship (NRC) title after a dramatic win in Mosac Rally.
However, the man is never really able to divorce himself from trouble and his win which should have been celebrated by the rally fraternity after a competitive season, was overshadowed by another standoff
between his Moil Rally Team and Arthur Blick Jr of Shell Rally Team.
The bad blood between the two teams started in Hoima when Nasser’s chief mechanic Heiko Grund requested Moses Sseguya who was the technical delegate during the event to check Blick Jr Evo X alleging that it had illegal parts. Blick Jr had just won the Kabalega Rally and Sseguya turned down the request.

Before, the cars went for the last two sections in Hoima, the Moil Team lodged a complaint to Shafiq
Matovu who was the Clerk of the Course. Matovu alerted David Bitalo, the chairman of stewards, who in turn asked Joshua Mayanja the technical delegate to examine the Car 99 of Blick Jr and George Ssemakula.

Mayanja alleges that a wheel spacer was found in the car but the mechanic removed it and hid it in his pocket.
Strangely, Mayanja failed to take of photo of the illegal part and in his report, he said the mechanic obstructed justice.
“I could not force him and the reason why Car 99 was penalised with a five minutes penalty was for obstructing justice,” Mayanja told SCORE.
Paying back in similar fashion in Kapeeka, Car 99 also lodged their complaint before the cars went back for the last two sections which they handed over to Keys Kagolo (KK) the CRO.
However, the committee could not discuss the complaint because it was not signed by CRO and there was no indication of what time it was received.

“We disqualified it on technicality because it did not indicate what time it was received and it was not signed by CRO. It was difficult to verify at what time it
was received,” Bitalo said.
It was at that time that they decided to publish provisional results as drivers with complaints are given only 30 minutes within which to lodge protests which would then have been discussed in a meeting on Tuesday.

But since there was no official protest from drivers, the results were confirmed.
However, KK told this reporter that he received the complaint but was cagey on why he did not put the time he received it and sign it as well.
Blick Jr is bitter with the way the whole saga was handed, and believes their complaint on Nasser’s car should have been addressed.
In the end what would have been a wonderful championship shoot-out turned into dramatic accusations and counter accusations.

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Results for top five
Yassin Nasser/ Ali Katumba (Subaru GVB) 01.28.43.35
Omar Mayanja/ Hussein Mukuye (Evo X) 01.28.43.62
Ronald Ssebuguzi/ Leon Ssenyange (Evo X) 01.30.15.11
Alwi Hassan / James Mwangi (Subaru N14) 01.35.44.20
Arthur Blick Jr/ George Ssemakula (Evo X) 01.35.59.66

fmusisi@ug.nationmedia.com

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