Ronald Ssebuguzi, the defending national rally champion, will chase Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru, who has been drawn to open the route for this weekend’s Source of the Nile Jinja rally, writes MOSES MUGALU.
According to a provisional start list made yesterday by rally organisers, Mubiru (in a Subaru N16) starts ahead of Ssebuguzi by virtue of being the current NRC title race leader. Mubiru leads the 2015 NRC standings with 100 points, thanks to his victory in the season opening Mbarara Challenge Rally last month.
Fred Wampamba and Arthur Blick will be flagged off second and third respectively in the two-day Jinja Rally, whose action starts with a super special stage sprint at Jinja Agricultural Show grounds on Saturday, April 5. Ssebuguzi, with 50 points so far, gets off the ramp fourth out of 44 drivers registered for the rally.
The three-time (2007, 2009 and 2014) NRC champion has had a low-key start to the season because of delays in delivering his new Mitsubishi Evo X. He drove an unfamiliar Subaru N11 (hired from Shaffiq Ssemujju) during the Mbarara rally.
Jeff Kabagambe, the event’s clerk of the course (CoC) who designed the route, explained that they would consider shuffling the start order after the fifth car to accommodate fast drivers including Ranjit Kuku, Andrew ‘Desh’ Kananura and John Consta.
“These are pretty fast drivers with powerful machines and as part of safety precautions, we want to put ahead,” Kabagambe said.
Kuku will to compete in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX while Kananura is expected to drive a Subaru Impreza N14. Drivers are expected to face slippery murram roads due to wet weather conditions in the 320-kilometre rally, which will cover parts of Jinja, Luuka and Mayuge districts on Sunday.
The rally is the second of the eight-round NRC events set for this season. Meanwhile, Jonas Kansiime, winner of last year’s edition of the event, will not defend the rally because his car (a Subaru N10) is yet to be fixed. The car broke down last November during the MOSAC-organised Mt Elgon Rally in Mbale.
Kansiime’s efforts to fix or acquire a new car have not paid off yet.
Current NRC standings:
Duncan Mubiru – 100pts
Fred Wampamba – 75pts
Arthur Blick – 60pts
Ronald Ssebuguzi – 50pts
Godfrey Lubega – 40pts
Source : The Observer