By Mwambazi Lawrence

In an electrifying start to the Mpu Mbarara City Rally 2023, Jas Mangat alongside his new co-driver Enoch Olinga showcased sheer dominance, clinching victory in all four stages of the day without breaking a sweat. Behind the wheel of the powerful Hyundai i20R5, Mangat set the pace, leaving competitors trailing in his wake.

Rally leader Jas Mangat taking on the superspecial stage (photo credit Ham Rally Addict)

Challengers emerged, with Kansime in his Mitsubishi Evo8, guided by Bukenya Kesh, putting up a valiant effort to secure second place in two stages. However, it was Ronald Sebuguzi who trailed Mangat in the superspecial runs, unable to match the relentless pace set by the rally leader.

Ponsiano Lwakataka, anticipated as a formidable opponent to Mangat, faced early setbacks with a puncture in the first stage and engine issues in the superspecial, relegating him to ninth position, a staggering eight minutes behind the leader.

Despite the challenges, Joshua Muwanguzi, Fred Busulwa, Isaac Sozzi, and Moustapha Mukasa showcased resilience, encountering no major issues on day one, keeping their hopes alive in the competition.

In the 2WD category, Edward Kirumira and co-driver Shakira Nabwami seized the lead in their Toyota Corolla, with Ibrahim Lubega and co-driver Katabalwa Robert closely trailing behind.

The CRC category witnessed newcomer Musa Segabwe and co-driver Mathias Kiyega leading the charge, overcoming two punctures throughout the day’s stages, showcasing determination and skill.

However, the rally wasn’t without its casualties, as young contenders Ali Omar Bobo suffered engine failure in the first stage, while Haruna Kataza endured suspension damage to his Subaru N8 within a mere five kilometers of the opening stage.

Surprising many, Moustafa Mukasa of the Drugs Express Rally Team, sponsored by Equity Bank and Eagle Vet, exhibited fearless driving in his newly acquired Evo9 throwing cautions to the wind during the superspecial stage, adding an element of excitement to the competition.

Moustapha Mukasa in stage 1 (photo credit Faruk Media)

Looking ahead, tomorrow’s itinerary promises even more thrills, with crews set to tackle a repeat of the challenging Katebe stage in the morning, followed by two lengthy stages, Akageti and Akyapa. The excitement culminates with the Kakoba power stage, where the coveted prize giving ceremony will take place, followed by a grand celebration at the Akaya Crescent Hotel.

As the rally unfolds, anticipation mounts, with spectators eagerly awaiting to witness who will emerge victorious in this high-octane battle for supremacy on the Mpu Mbarara City Rally circuit.

DAY1 Results.

TOP 10

1.Jas Mangat/ Enoch Olinga 27:38.90

2.Jonas Kansiime/Ronald Bukenya 31:45.51

3.Ronald Sebuguzi/Anthony Mugambwa 32:20.20

4.Fred Busulwa /Mildred KIbuuka 32:51.73

5.Joshua Muwanguzi/ Hamza Lwanga 32:54.11

6.Isaac Sozzi/ Monica Birwinyo 33:43.00

7.Didas Matsiko/ Alfred Mutanda 35:14.81

8.Moustapha Mukasa/ Lawrence Mwambazi 35:59.68

9.Ponsiano Lwakataka/ Paul Musazi 36:313.12

10.Edward Kirumira/Shakira Nabwami 36:30:00

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