Mangat staying put despite Pearl win

Infinite joy. ARC podium crew of Giancarlo and Vindevogel, Kamya and Mangat, and Gome and Gomes during the victory ceremony. PHOTO / JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

  • And yet, from start to finish of the event that concluded yesterday afternoon in Kasaku Tea Estate, the Pili Pili driver dominated, taking two of the seven stages en route to victory in his first event of the season.

Jas Mangat started the Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally as one of the local drivers expected to challenge Africa Rally Championship rivals Karan Patel and Leroy Gomes.

In his Mitsubish EvoX, the task was big considering the stronger cars, the Ford Fiesta R5s, of the two drivers chasing ARC points.

And yet, from start to finish of the event that concluded yesterday afternoon in Kasaku Tea Estate, the Pili Pili driver dominated, taking two of the seven stages en route to victory in his first event of the season.

The event, being the third round of the National Rally Championship calendar, only peppered the local standings as the gap between him and NRC leader Ponsiano Lwakataka is remains.

“We haven’t really thought that far ahead,” Mangat told Daily Monitor about his strategy in the NRC. “We wanted to do this event and we will sit and decide on what to do next. We will definitely try the next event.”

With four rounds left on the ARC calendar, it is somewhat late for Mangat to stage a late charge for the title. He knows that too well.

‘It’s a bit late.’

For now, the celebration is all about winning Pearl rally for the first time since 2013.

It is also Uganda’s first victory since 2016, when Hassan Alwi drove his Subaru Impreza N14 to success, and ends Manvir Baryan’s three-year dominance  (2017 and 2019).

“It is big for me. It is my father’s birthday and also, my grandfather [Daljit Singh Mangat] was here to support me.”

Change of notes

The Saturday morning downpour meant that drivers had to change notes going into the first stage of the event. Most of the drivers did their recce on dry roads but the rains meant a switch in tactics.

The Shekhar Mehta stage had to be cancelled on Day One as the roads were considered impassible.

The Kivuvu stage presented the first piece of action and Mangat negotiated the slippery roads with relative easy to reach the finish in 18 minutes, 45.91 seconds.

By taking two of the three stages on Day One, Mangat was comfortably on top and just needed to stay on course on Day Two.

Gomes and Patel shared the four stages on Day Two but Mangat maintained first position, finishing the seven stages in one hour, 53 minutes and six seconds –  beating Zambian Gomes by five minutes.

Rwandan crew of Davite Giancarlo and Sylvia Vindevogel came third.

NRC race

Lwakataka still top


NRC leader Ponsiano Lwakataka emphasised his charge for a third championship by finishing second in the local category despite a five-minute penalty for deviation. The Pearl rally carries more weight and the winner takes 140 points, not the usual 100 for the domestic events.

The Mafu Mafu driver now has 262 points after picking 112. Arthur Blick, Ronald Sebuguzi, Duncan Mubiru and Kepher Walubi took early shower.

Pearl of Africa Rally

ARC Top Three RESULTS
1. Jas Mangat    1:53:06
2. Leroy Gomes    1:58:11
3. Davite Giancarlo    1:58:11
NRC top three 
1.Jas Mangat    1:53:06
2.Ponsiano Lwakataka    2:00:38
3.Yasin Nasser    2:09:09

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