Nearly 50 enter Pearl rally

Great asset. The Mitsubishi Evo 9 Sebuguzi (inset) has hired from Musa Kabega. PHOTOS /JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

  • This follows the release of the final entry list that has seen 49 rally crews register including the leading contenders in this year’s African Rally Championship (ARC).

There is palpable excitement as the Pearl of Africa rally which is set to run on May 6-8 edges closer.

This follows the release of the final entry list that has seen 49 rally crews register including the leading contenders in this year’s African Rally Championship (ARC).

The event which is the third round of the ARC after Rallye Bandama of Ivory Coast and Kenya’s Equator Rally will have Leroy Gomes of Zambia who leads the ARC championship with 54 points.

Also expected to take part is Karan Patel who is second on the ARC standings with 30 points leading a six-car Kenyan assault for the event.

National Rally Championship (NRC) leader Ponsiano Lwakataka leads the cast of domestic crews that also includes 2016 Pearl rally winner Hassan Alwi.

Kenya Commercial Bank (Uganda) has also further heightened expectations by returning to the sport after a decade with a Shs70m package.

Renewed relationship

The bank is returning to sponsoring Ugandan motorsport after an-11 year  sabbatical since the crew of Ponsiano Lwakataka and Musa Nsubuga in a Subaru N8 won the event.

Diana Komukama Ssempebwa, head of marketing at KCB Bank Uganda, believes the company’s return is the beginning of another relationship with the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) and thanked the current leadership of president Dipu Ruparelia for coming out and  to professionalise the sport.

“We believe this contribution will greatly support the preparation and see FMU have a successful event,” she said.

Ruparelia, president of FMU,  expressed gratitude for the sporting gesture shown by KCB.

“The money we have got today will help us in organising a successful event.Therefore, we call upon more organisations to support the industry so that it can continue to grow,” added Ruparelia.

It is also the first time the event is returning to Uganda since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will run in the districts of Lugazi and Mukono.

The rally will cover a total distance of 513km of which 212 kilometres is competitive with nine competitive sections over two days, while 197km as the liaison distance.

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