Former national rally champion Susan ‘Super Lady’ Muwonge has become the first high-profile driver to formally rule herself out of the forthcoming Mount Elgon rally due later this month in the eastern town of Mbale.
The Motorsport Africa Club (Mosac)-organized event, which is the last of the seven national championship (NRC) calendar events, is set for November 28. Widely adored by both male and female rally fans, Muwonge, who became the country’s first woman NRC champion in 2011, cited a busy work schedule as the main reason for her exit.
“I would have loved to participate but unfortunately I can’t because the rally coincides with the exams timetable,” Muwonge told The Observer in an interview on Wednesday.
Muwonge teaches at her husband’s Buddo SS, where she is currently on duty as one of the supervisors in the ongoing O and A-level exams, which stretch into early December. However, the ‘Super Lady’ (who has participated in only two sprint events and the Pearl of Africa Rally so far) promises to drive in the season ending Champions Sprint on Boxing day.
Muwonge’s exit from the Oilibya-sponsored Mt Elgon Rally comes as drivers continue to drag their feet in regard to participating in the event. Other big-name drivers including former champions Ponsiano Lwakataka, Nasser Mutebi, Jas Mangat and seasoned competitor Godfrey Lubega are also not expected.
Only Albert Ofwong, Musa Kabega and Christopher Kasozi, all lowly-ranked drivers, had picked entry forms by Wednesday. Preps for the rally have remained low-key following Ronald Ssebuguzi’s wrap-up of the championship title last month. Ssebuguzi claimed the 2014 NRC title after finishing second in the Independence Rally on October 6.
His triumph automatically watered down interest in the Mt Elgon Rally as there is only pride at stake. But the rally’s clerk of the course (COC) Jeff Kabagambe, downplayed fears that event could be shunned, insisting that it would pick momentum before normal entries close on November 21.
Kabagambe said organizers are lobbying drivers at individual levels and he expects the move to yield positive results through full-house drivers’ participation in the rally. Oilibya are set to give a shot in the arm to the event by announcing a new package for this year’s edition on Tuesday.
By virtue of being bankrolled by Oilibya, former national champion, Dr Ahmed Ashraf (NRC title win in 2008), is a no-doubt for the rally. John Consta won the rally last year. But he is doubtful on defending it because his Subaru Impreza N10 broke down in a recent event and it has not been repaired yet.
The event drew huge support from the local motorsport fraternity as rallying returned to the eastern parts of the country for the first time in more than three decades.
Source : The Observer