Twenty-nine rally drivers, including 2013 national champion Jas Mangat, have confirmed their participation in this weekend’s Southern Motor Club (SMC) Rally.
The fourth round of the eight-event national championship (NRC) series will flag off Saturday, July 5 with a super special sprint stage at Festino Cite double circuit track in Mukono. Action will shift to competitive sections in parts of Busiika and Luweero on Sunday for the final leg.
Mangat has not competed in any event this season but his entry in this event sets a prospective late charge from the champion in an attempt to defend the NRC title.
In the past couple of days, The Observer understands that Team Pili Pili (as Mangat camp is fondly named by his fans) mechanics have been working around the clock to fix Mangat’s Mitsubishi Evo X for the rally. The car has not been on the track ever since.
Ponsiano Lwakataka, winner of this rally last year, is out of contention as he didn’t register. Coincidently, the former champion is also embattled over his business dealings that have contravened the country’s law. However, Lwakataka’s absence won’t deprive the rally of competition.
Top drivers Ronald Ssebuguzi, Jonas Kansiime, Wycliff Bukenya, Ian Ortega, Shafiq Ssemujju, Pole Pole, Omar Mayanja and Leila Blick Mayanja will be at hand to entertain rally fans on the sprint track and in the routes. NRC title race standings after three rounds: Ronald Ssebuguzi (251 points), Jonas Kansiime (208 points), Duncan Mubiru (185)
And based on the current championship standings, Ssebuguzi, in a Mitsubishi Evo IX, opens the route on the provisional start order. Exciting Kansiime (Subaru Impreza N10) will be flagged off second after Mubiru opted out of the event to concentrate on his preps for Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally in Kigali next week.
Apart from scoring points for the NRC title contenders, the SMC Rally will set the tone for the forthcoming international Pearl of Africa Rally set for August 15-17 in Kampala.
Source : The Observer