National rally champion Jas Mangat sealed his 2013 NRC title by winning the Independence rally last October.
Since then, he has been on-and-off the rally scene but he is expected to add competition and excitement in this year’s edition of the event, writes Moses Mugalu.
Entries for the forthcoming Independence Rally hit the 27 mark on Saturday after drivers dragged feet in beating last evening (Sunday September 28)’s deadline. The big news, however, is about 2013 champion Jas Mangat, who despite shying away from local action for much of this season, has decided to defend his Independence Rally title afterall.
The two-day Independence Rally, which is the second last major event on the championship (NRC) calendar, flags off on Saturday October 4 with closed route sections in Zion Estates, Matugga. Mangat, who sealed his 2013 NRC title triumph by winning the Independence Rally last October in Jinja, is widely expected to add competition and excitement in this year’s edition of the event.
The champion has skipped most of the NRC events this season, opting only for last month’s Pearl of Africa Rally, which he didn’t even finish after a mechanical problem on his Mitsubishi Evo X forced him to retire. Mangat also welcomes back his championship winning navigator Gihan da Silva, who will step into the cockpit for the first time this season. He hired services of Kenyan woman navigator Natasha De Cangio for the Pearl Rally last month.
The Team Pilipili boss has a chance to complete the ‘unfinished business’ since it’s the same route that beat him during the Pearl Rally that organisers have stuck with this NRC event.
He will face stiff challenge from NRC title contenders including current Ronald Ssebuguzi, closest challengers Jonas Kansime, Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru, Wilbert Pole Pole and Omar Mayanja.
As expected, stakes will be high for the title contenders who need to score points as the championships battle heads into the home stretch. NRC title race going into Independence Rally: Ronald Ssebuguzi 351, Pole Pole 231, Duncan Mubiru 213, Jonas Kansiime 208, Omar Mayanja 165, Leila 141, Arthur Blick 105
Source : The Observer