Watendwa, Pasuwa trade words ahead of Mbarara Rally

Contenders (L-R): Two-wheel defending champion Ibrahim Lugega  and Samuel Watendwa (inset) are raring to go. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

  • The season opener starts tomorrow with scrutineering at Shell Makenke before the machines hit the ground running Saturday morning.

A war of words has erupted between former Two-Wheel champions Ibrahim Lubega (2020-21) and Samuel Watendwa (2019) ahead of the 2022 National Rally Championship that revs off this weekend.

The Rukaari- Lake Mburo rally gets the season underway in the districts of Mbarara and Kiruhura and the two drivers will be out to settle the debate on who is the better man behind the wheel.

Lubega, who won the Two-Wheel Championship last season, has promised to put Wantedwa where he belongs and emphasize the fact that his victory was never a fluke.

“I promise you, Watedwa is going to feel the heat,” Lubega warned ahead of the opener.

“I want to show him that now I am not in his class, I have beaten better drivers than him before,” Lubega, fondly known as Pasuwa in the rally fraternity added.

Lubega concluded: “I know Wantendwa is one of the aggressive drivers in our class but I can promise by the end of the day, he will not be ahead of me.”

Since joining the sport in 2019, driving a Toyota Corolla FX, Lubega has won the Club man Rally Championship by defeating Rajiv Ruparelia, who was driving a more powerful car, the VW Proto.

He also finished fifth with 180 points in the NRC last season and was tied on points with three-time champion Jas Mangata.

Watendwa, on the other hand, finished seventh in the 2-wheel category last time out and will be fighting to challenge for the title this time round.

Code named Venom, Watendwa responded with confidence and can’t wait for the event.
‘’We are not scared because of what Lubega did last season,” the Toyota Fx driver said.
 He added: “This is a new seaon and we are starting afresh. We are ready for him.”

The season opener starts tomorrow with scrutineering at Shell Makenke before the machines hit the ground running Saturday morning.

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