By Lawrence Mwambazi

In the small town of Kayunga, on a cool October day in 1989, Godfrey Kiyimba was born to Mr. Senono Fred and Nakanwagi Annet. Little did anyone know that this ordinary kid would grow up to be an extraordinary rally sensation.

Back in his teenage years, Godfrey was hooked on rallying, following the thrilling broadcasts on the radio. The real excitement kicked in during a sprint event at Lubiri in 2009. Witnessing Ponsiano’s wild roll and sharing the track with legends like Muhammed Essa lit a fire inside him. Inspired, he got himself a Toyota Levin, just like his hero Ismail Ortega.

Godfrey Kiyimba and Urban Mulindwa negotiate a tight slippery corner in Garuga

But life threw him a curveball. Dad Senono wasn’t sold on the idea of his son becoming a rally star just yet. Instead of a rally car, he got a piece of land worth 4.5 million Ugandan shillings. Talk about a pit stop! Senono told Godfrey to wait, to make some money first. But the rally dream wouldn’t be put on hold for long.

In 2016, fate stepped in when Godfrey met rally driver Samuel Bwette at an autocross in Mbalala, Mukono. A helping hand during a race snag led to a job offer as the chief mechanic for Bwette’s team. It was a golden ticket into the heart of the action.

Godfrey Kiyimba (R) pose with former FMU president George Kagimu (C) together with Urban Mulindwa (L)

The real action, though, started in 2017 when Godfrey got a shot at the driver’s seat. With Urban Mulindwa as his co-pilot, they tore up the track at the same place where he once fixed cars. Winning the cadet championship and snagging third place overall, he got a shoutout from a rival driver – a major confidence boost!

Samuel Bwette and Urban Mulindwa became his rally mentors, guiding him through the twists and turns of the sport. In 2018, Godfrey got his own Subaru Impreza GC8 and hit the rally roads as a learner. Two years later, in 2022, he leveled up to a Subaru Impreza N8, a beast of a machine.

The year 2022 was a rollercoaster of sprints and autocross events. By the end of it, Godfrey was standing tall as the cadet champion. The next year, 2023, he stepped up to the big leagues – the CRC category. Alongside Urban Mulindwa, they conquered the MPU Mbarara Rally and battled it out with Joshua Muwanguzi all season, eventually claiming the CRC Sprint Championship.

Now, in 2024, Godfrey’s team is in the fast lane, heading to the NRC Div2. The MPU Mbarara City Rally is the next big challenge, promising tougher competition. Godfrey Kiyimba’s rally story is more than just racing; it’s about chasing dreams, facing setbacks, and pushing through. Hold on tight – the next chapter promises more adrenaline and triumphs from this rising rally star.

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