Pit-stop tyre changes leave City Tyres Formula One fans stunned

Saturday December 1 2018

Fabulous atmosphere. Third Deputy Katikiro of

Fabulous atmosphere. Third Deputy Katikiro of Buganda Apollo Makubuya (left foreground) takes a selfie with winners of the 2018 City Tyes/Pirelli campaign at Yas Marina. The team of eight winners and three officials watched qualification for pole on Saturday and the main race on Sunday evening which was won by Lewis Hamilton.  

By Mark Namanya

The first experience of a rarity sinks deep. Everyone recalls his first encounter driving an automobile.
Likewise it is true that that day when you flew in a plane for the first time is a memory to linger on forever.
For the Third Deputy Katikiro of Buganda Kingdom Apollo Makubuya, the charm of watching the man and machine sport has warmed his heart to F1. He will be a different man going forward after watching an automobile with the speed of a plane.
“From now onwards, I will be following F1 keenly,” Makubuya told SCORE upon arrival from the Abu Dhabi where he attended the year’s final Grand Prix.
Makubuya led a delegation of eight City Tyres clients, who all won themselves a trip to the plush event after a promotion that also involved Pirelli.
“The magic of the pit-stops is something that really blew my mind away; I mean, how on earth does one change race tyres in a blink of an eye?” Makubuya pleasantly wondered.
His sentiments were shared by the rest of the group, who couldn’t fathom how four tyres could be removed and new ones fitted in so short a time.
Until 2010, refuelling was legal in F1 pit-stops. But since then, only tyre changes are allowed. Refueling is banned, and drivers have to start with all fuel needed for race.
Most of the winners flew to Dubai knowing little about the sport but returned avowed fans.
“I have become a staunch F1 fan after this experience,” noted Racheal Kemigisha after watching the 361kph speeds. “This was an excellent trip.”
The group enjoyed VVIP treatment and were sat in the vantage area next to the starting grid where the race concluded.
It helped that Lewis Hamilton, already 2018 world champion, comfortably won the race.

Mercedes gear
The Briton, who had won pole on Saturday in the qualification, was easily the most popular name and because of him, most members of the group spent their shopping money on Mercedes gear in the merchandise shop inside the circuit.
Ironically on race day, the team wore red shirts and from afar looked like Ferrari aficionados. The red t-shirts were actually City Tyres shirts. Mercedes colours are black, white and a small shed of light green.
The sound of the six-cylinder F1 engines can be deafening through the first lap. Yet by the time the cars go through the circuit 6-7 times, the mind is now getting ready to cope.
By the time the 55th and final lap was done and dusted, the winners were at home with the Yas Marina atmosphere.
For Rahaanah Kirungi, the trip was like no other. “It’s really going to be my best trip for a long time.”
Kemigisha, Kirungu and Tracy Akello were the three ladies on tour and the presence of celebrated Hollywood actor Will Smith, who stood a couple of meters away from them as he flagged off the race, was the icing on the cake.
Their phone albums were filled by images and videos of every Will Smith moment in the moments before the race got started.
The Ferrari world, an aesthetic Ferrari-themed amusement park, which has the largest space frame structure ever built was visited by the team and was the outstanding highlight for Raymond Tumubweine.
The group, who were booked at the luxurious Grand Hyatt Hotel, later on braved sand dunes in the Desert Safari before returning back home.