Buoyed by his triumph in last weekend’s national rally championship (NRC) Source of the Nile Jinja Rally event, Arthur Blick Jnr has set sight on winning a rare treble of motorsport titles this season, write MOSES MUGALU amp ELLY KYEYUNE.
Blick, whose star in the local rallying arena is on the rise, has vowed to become the first man in the history of Ugandan motorsport to win the NRC, Motocross and Enduro titles in the same year.
“We have a realistic chance to achieve this feat so, I want to assure fans and competitors that we’re chasing those three titles this season,” Blick told The Observer in an interview yesterday following his shock triumph in the Jinja Rally on Sunday.
Motocross involves racing motorbikes around circuit tracks while Enduro takes riders to competition outside of tracks to distances in villages. Already, Blick, who hails from the famous Blick cycling family, is a proven motocross king, having won the national championship a record 10 times. He is set to make his debut in the Enduro championship this year.
In Eastern Motor Club (EMC)-organised Jinja Rally, Blick, navigated by Unisan Bakunda in a Subaru N10, triumphed after clocking the best times of one hour 48 minutes and 39 seconds.
“It was tough for us in Jinja but this may be the beginning of the struggle since now we are leading the log. We’re going to be conscious with the pressure behind,” said Blick, who now leads the NRC title race with 160 points, thanks to his third position finish in the season opening Mbarara Rally.
WRECK: Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru lost control of his Subaru N16 and it fell into a swamp
Wilbert Pole Pole (1:53:42), Musa Kabega (1:56:35), Christakis Fitidis (2:07:30) and Peter Kakaire (2:23:06) finished second, third, fourth and fifth respectively in the two-day rally, which claimed big-name scalps in Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru, former NRC champions Ronald Ssebuguzi and Nasser Mutebi through mechanical problems and accidents.
In his bid to match the treble challenge at hand, Blick has hinted to upgrading his car to compete favourably for the NRC title against such top contenders as Mubiru (Subaru N16) and 2014 champion, Ssebuguzi, who is expected to bring in a Mitsubishi Evo X for the next event.
Whether he upgrades the car or not, Blick has already convinced as many pundits and fellow competitors that he has what it takes to win the three titles.
“He [Blick] has greatly improved as a rally driver since last year’s Pearl of Africa Rally and his skills and experience in riding bikes is unquestionable,” says Frank Serugo, a seasoned rally navigator and commentator.
However, resources and type of machines aside, Blick’s other big challenge could be maintaining the mental pressure and fatigue of competing in three different championships whose events follow each other in succession.
The NRC calendar has eight rounds while motocross has six, including two regional legs in Kenya and Zambia. The next NRC event is due late this month in Masaka.
EMC Rally result
Arthur Blick 1:48:39
Pole Pole 1:53:42
Musa Kabega 1:56:35
Christakis Fitidis 2:07:30
Peter Kakaire 2:23:06
Arthur Blick – 160pts
Duncan Mubiru – 100pts
Wilbert Pole Pole – 95pts
Fred Wampamba – 75pts
Musa Kabega – 60pts
Source : The Observer