Lwakataka says Skoda beatable in Pearl Rally contest

Wednesday July 31 2019

Hopeful. Lwakataka and Samuel Mugisha flying

Hopeful. Lwakataka and Samuel Mugisha flying the Subaru N12B to Victory during the SMC Tavern Kick Rally in Masaka. Lwakataka hopes to defeat Kenyan Manvir in a Skoda Fabia R5. Photo by John Batanudde  

By John Batanudde

Two-time Ugandan champion Ponsiano ‘Mafu Mafu’ Lwakataka has vowed to end the dominance Kenyan Rally driver Manvir Baryan and his Skoda Fabia R5.

Lwakataka, winner the V-Power Pearl of Africa Rally in 2011 in an inferior Subaru N8 will be driving in the African rally championship (ARC) event since 2013 when he third overall.
Lwakataka, who is the 2005 and 2007 champion, is driving a factory prepared Subaru N12B ‘Manyi ga bantu’ alongside navigator Samuel Mugisha.

The crew are fresh from winning the last NRC event the SMC Tavern Kick Rally in Masaka.
“I know we can challenge this car in some of the sections. Jas (Mangat) and me can push The Skoda to the limit,” Lwakataka confidently said. The Skoda Fabia R5 is the latest piece of engineering that has taken rallying by storm this year. But the Pearl of Africa Rally is whole other ballgame. The Kenyan, is targeting a unique hat-trick of both the Pearl Rally and ARC title.

The Kenyan crew is well-positioned for the continental title after collecting 176 points, a whopping 88 points ahead of Zambian pair of Leroy Gomes, in second position. He is third in the Kenyan championship race behind leader Baldev Singh Chager and Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo after skipping the season opener in Nakuru.

Mafu Mafu vows to go flat out on day two during the road sections.
“I have now mastered the car and it can perform well in tight sections.”
However, Lwakataka appealed on the fans to stay clear of the route.
Meanwhile, all the crews will start recce today and tomorrow ahead of Friday’s scrutineering at Shell Bugoloobi.

2019 pearl of africa rally
Friday: Day One (Busiika)
Super Special Stage 4.36km
Saturday: Day two sections
Shekhar Mehta - 22.35km
Adel - 29.13km
Kitwe - 19.59km
Lwasa - 24.84km
ARC Standings
Manvir Baryan (Kenya) - 176 pts
Leroy Gomes (Zambia) - 88
Baldev Chager (Kenya) - 56