The miracle he desired never came in the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally during the penultimate leg of this year’s Africa Rally Championship (ARC).
But, Yasin Nasser and his co-driver Ali Katumba will be very proud of what they have achieved this year as the late Charles Muhangi remains a reference point for winning the African title in 1999.
Nasser went to Rwanda needing to win the final two rounds of the 2021 ARC with the other set for next month in November and the hope leader Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo stalls in both.
Tundo won in Kigali to clinch his first ARC title with a race to spare.
“The race is obviously going to be a tough one. But that is how competition is ought to be,” Nasser has said severally this season.
Nasser was troubled again when his Subaru GVB blew the turbo in the second stage of day two and lost time to slip down on the table and finished seventh overall but fifth among ARC-registered drivers.
“We are not regretting why we decided to take part in the ARC events,” Katumba affirmed.
Naaser/Katumba are champions of the lesser ARC 2 category.
Tundo clocked one hour, 29 minutes and 42.8 seconds to beat compatriot Karan Patel by 14.4 seconds for a fourth continental win this season having won in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
“It was a super job to do winning the event and the championship. I didn’t want to be a champion and then come second in the event,” said Tundo.
“An African Rally Championship title is something that I have dreamt about for a long time,” he added.
Third overall was another Kenyan – Kimathi Junior – in a time of one hour, 40 minutes and 17.2 seconds.
“We appreciate our sponsors for all the support but these events are really very expensive,” Nasser, whose time of one hour, 54 minutes and 5.2 seconds, said.
He was 24 minutes and 22.4 seconds off the winner.
“Uganda has many drivers and rally cars but we need more sponsors to come on board so that we have more cars out of the country,” the lone warrior added. The team was sponsored by Mansor industries Tanzania, Moil Uganda and Moil Kenya.
Tundo gives Kenya a seventh ARC title in a row and he becomes the fifth Kenyan to win the coveted title.
Manvir Baryan (2017, 2018, 2019), Don Smith (2016), Jaspreet Chatthe (2015), David Horsey (1984) and Shekhar Mehta (1981).