Tyres will be key in Mbarara

Thursday February 7 2019

Dry conditions: Arthur Blick Jr and former

Dry conditions: Arthur Blick Jr and former co-driver Noella Blick raising dust in a past sprint. The Mbarara Rally is expected to be held in dry conditions PHOTO BY JOHN BATANUDDE 

By John Batanudde

KAMPALA. Fans are excited that finally the 2018 National Rally Championship (NRC) is about to get underway this weekend with the Lato Milk Mbarara Rally.
But the drivers are worried about the hot conditions in Mbarara and Bushenyi districts, which don’t favour Mitsubishi or Subaru.
George Ssemakula, the two-time national champion as a co-driver of Ponsiano Lwakataka, told Daily Monitor that there are some factors which may favour competitors while failing others.
He said: “Fitness is a key issue in such hot conditions because dehydration can disorganise you and make one lose concentration.” Ssemakula also pointed out that drivers with soft compound tyres will have an advantage because they work well on hard surface.
However, very few drivers can afford those expensive tyres.
Ssemakula also noted that in every section, a driver has to test his tyre pressure to avoid punctures.
Leon Ssenyange, the best navigator last season, will again be in the cockpit with Ronald Ssebuguzi in their Shell-sponsored Mitsubishi Evo X.
Ssenyange, also the USPA vice president, believes that in dry conditions cars go flat out and chances of rolling are high.
“The skills of the drivers and the reliability of the car come into play in such conditions,” he observed.
Aaron Nsamba, another top navigator, pointed out that twists will be many in this weekend’s rally and drivers ought to take caution.
Meanwhile Bunga bet yesterday offered 100 reflector jackets which are going to be used in this weekend event.
They will be used by the media, police and marshals. The event has a total of 298.09km of which, 145 is competitive spread over nine section.
On Saturday, drivers will tackle four competitive section (CS) while on Sunday, they will do five.

CS1-Rwentuuha 13. 18 km
CS2-Ishaka 10. 46 km
CS3-SS1 1.12Km
CS4- SS2 1.12 km
Day 2
CS5-Rwentanga 31. 62 km
CS6-Bwizibwera1 28.89km
CS7-Kagyezi 19. 65km
CS8-Rubindi 15.02 km
CS9- Bukiro JB 23.87 km
Total 298.09km