Ssebuguzi beats all in Fort Portal, Bukenya car burns

Monday June 4 2018

Evo IX of Yusuf Bukenya and Frank Sserugo

Down, out and written off: The Evo IX OF Yusuf Bukenya and Frank Sserugo engulfed in flames in the Bukuku section of the Fort Portal Challenge Rally. PHOTO BY John Batanudde 

By Fred Musisi Kiyingi

Fort portal. For two years, three- time national rally champion Ronald Ssebuguzi and his co-driver Leon Ssenyange had failed to finish the UMC-organized Fort Portal Challenge Rally.

But lady luck yesterday fell upon the pair as they emerged victorious in their Mitsubishi Evo X. The Shell and Centenary Bank-sponsored crew triumphed in a time of 1:43.46.

The win also put them back in the race for the National Rally Championship (NRC) with 150 pts, 50 behind championship leader Jas Mangat.
An elated Ssebuguzi was quick to pay tribute to the corporate bodies funding his rallying season.

“I dedicate this win to my sponsors who have stood by me for the past two years,” he told Daily Monitor after the race before adding: “And my fans who have previously suffered the pain of travelling to this area (Fort Portal) and only to be disappointed .” Ssebuguzi went into the last two sections, totalling 38km, only 25 seconds ahead of another Shell-sponsored crew of Omar Mayanja and Hussien Mukuye who drove a similar car.

But Mayanja and Mukuye rolled in the Mpanga section (23.99km), incidentally nicknamed ‘Ssebuguzi’ seeing how the eventual race winner has twice fallen out there previously. Kephar Walubi and Anthony Mugambwa in an Evo X finished second in the race ahead of 2011 national champion Susan Muwonge.

The Jinja boys are now third on the NRC standings with 180 points, 10 more than Susan ‘Super Lady’ Muwonge and Edmond Kyeyune in a Subaru N12B. The latter crew posted a time of 1:46.45 to return in third position.

A delighted Muwonge said: “It was a challenging route and we broke our suspension but thank God we managed to bring the car back.”
The event attracted 34 cars but big guns like Ponsiano Lwakataka andChristakis Fitidis failed to finish.

Meanwhile the crew of Yusuf Bukenya and Frank Sserugo experienced a narrow escape after their Mitsubishi Evo IX caught fire in the Bukuku section. Bukenya suffered an injury to his face but is not in danger.
The next event is the Pearl of Africa Rally to be staged next month.

The top five
Ronald Ssebuguzi 01:43.10
Kephar Walubi 01:46.03
Susan Muwonge 01:46.35
Fred Wampamba 01:49.39
Omar Mayanja 01:52.09

After yesterday
Jas Mangat -200 pts
Unisan Bakunda -194
Kephar Walubi -180
Susan Muwonge -170
Ronald Ssebuguzi -150