Jas Mangat only returned to cockpit recently in the third leg of the National Rally Championship (NRC) held in Sembabule.
The Mitsubishi Evo X driver missed the first two events on the local calendar but is now back and ready to compete in the remaining events.
To jump start his performances locally, the highly-rated driver elected to take part in the second event on the Africa Rally Championship starting today in Kenya – the Equator Rally. “We need to do several events before we get back on track and this (Equator rally) will be an exciting event to do,” Mangat said ahead of the event. “I noticed that I was off the pace during the SMC rally.”
Mangat is a familiar name on Kenyan soil and has registered podium finishes on two occasions in the Kenyan events.
For reigning NRC champion Yasin Nasser, the Equator Rally is another opportunity of competing at the top level.
Nasser, navigated by Ali Katumba, sat out the SMC Rally and will be hoping to cruise his Sumbaru Impreza GBV to victory. Current NRC leader Duncan Mubiru, Ronald Ssebuguzi and Rajiv Ruparelia are some of the other Ugandan drivers looking for top performances across the border.
This event is also a dress rehearsal for the World Rally Championsship (WRC) Safari Rally later this year in Kenya. The Safari returns to the WRC schedule after a 19-year hiatus and will run from June 24 to 27 in the Rift Valley.
In fact, Safari clerk of the course Gurvir Bhabra confirmed that they will use six special stages that will also feature in the Safari route – Elementaita, Soysambu, Sleeping Warrior, Loldia, Malewa and Kedong.
The Equator rally in Naivasha and Nakuru gets underway today with qualifying stage to determine the starting order for Saturday and Sunday. Crews will cover 5.40km before going into the eleven stages slated for the weekend. The event, which has attracted over 15 crews, will have a total competitive distance of 206.72kms. Technical Centre will kick-off on April 11.
Date: April 23-25, 2021
Ugandans In The Race: Jas Mangat, Duncan Mubiru, Rajiv Ruparelia, Ronald Ssebuguzi, Yasin Nasser, Kepher Walubi and Amaanraj Rai