The national championship race is too tight to call

Tuesday April 16 2019

Thrills & Spills. Duncan Mubiru and  Musa

Thrills & Spills. Duncan Mubiru and Musa Nsubuga rolled their Subaru GVB at Kasolo Foundation Spectators Stage in Kyotera. Photo by John Batanudde 

By Fredrick Musisi Kiyingi & John Batanudde

KAMPALA. The battle for this year’s National Rally Championship (NRC) is shaping up after the Tarven Kick SMC Challenge Rally ended last the weekend. The event, the third round on the championship was won by Ponsiano ‘Mafu Mafu’ Lwakataka and Samuel Mugisha in Subaru N12B for the second year running.

The win also means, Lwakataka becomes the third national champion to win an event this season. Jas Mangat (Mbarara Rally) and Ssebuguzi (Mukono Rally).

The level of competitiveness this season has reached a new level with drivers being separated by seconds unlike previous years where it was about minutes.

Ssebuguzi, the championship leader who finished second in Kyotera thinks the improvement in performances comes from the quality of drivers this season. “This event, apart from Susan (Muwonge) all the top 12 drivers managed to bring back their cars,” Ssebuguzi said.

Ssebuguzi is also happy for the start they have had this season, scoring in each round. The championship race is too tight to call with 95 points separate the top five drivers.

Jas Mangat for his part was delighted with his fourth place finish after getting a penalty of four minutes. “We are happy with the points. Our car had power issues in first section and came stuck after the longest (42km) section,” Mangat said.

Mugisha; “We went into the last section 37 sections behind Ssebuguzi, we took risks and it paid off.”

P. Lwakataka/ S. Mugisha 01:15:21
R. Ssebuguzi/ L. Ssenyange 01:16:21
D. Mubiru / M. Nsubuga 01:16:48
J. Mangat / J. Kamya. 01:17:03
O. Mayanja / H. Mukuye 01:18:41
K. Walubi / A. Mugambwa 01:19:27
H. Alwi /S. Kyambadde 01:19:33
C. Fitidis/ R.Darbar 01:19:36
Y. Nasser/ A. Katumba 01:20:16
A. Blick/ G. Ssemakula 01:20:32

NRC Standings after 3 rounds
R. Ssebuguzi 240 points
H. Alwi 180
J. Mangat 160
P. Lwakataka 160
Y. Nasser 145