In one of the biggest upsets in local rallying, previously-unknown Jonas Kansiime won the Source of the Nile rally in Jinja at the weekend, writes Elly Kyeyune.
There is a new kid on the block in rallying. Jonas Kansiime was an unheralded rally driver until last weekend when he stunned the favourites to win the Source of the Nile rally in Jinja, his first ever National Rally Championship (NRC) triumph.
What was more surprising was his winning margin of one minute and seven seconds over two-time national champion Ronald Ssebuguzi. The latter had looked destined for the win after topping the time sheets in four of the six sections but a tyre puncture held him up in the last stage to gift Kansiime a rare appearance on the podium.
Amazingly, Kansiime is a rookie in the flagship rally competition having won the second-tier Clubman Rally Championship (CRC) last year. He is quick to dismiss suggestions of good fortune given the fact that several contenders such as Duncan Mubiru, the winner of the season-opening Mbarara rally, Wycliff Bukenya and John Consta all failed to reach the finish line.
“Punctures and mechanical failures are all part of rallying,” he says. “It is the pressure intensity that causes these misfortunes but I was disciplined and outpaced everyone.”
“I only drive without looking into other people’s results. Secondly, even in the rally I had Dr Ahmed Ashraf and Nasser Mutebi who were once champions why couldn’t they use that aantage to win,” explained Kansiime.
“They’re nice, tight, twisty roads and probably suit our car better than the others and that may be the only logic behind our win.
“We did have a few dramas but we’re glad to finish and get such an awesome result,” added Kansiime who was navigated by Joseph Bongole in Subaru N10. Kansiime’s win elevates him to second in the overall NRC standings on 140 points, 10 behind current leader Ronald Ssebuguzi and 40 ahead of third-placed Duncan Mubiru.
Source : The Observer