Lubiri Double Race Circuit, The Forgotten Gem in Uganda’s Racing History


By Mwambazi Lawrence

For decades, the Lubiri Double Race Circuit stood as a beacon of excellence in Ugandan motor racing. Nestled in the heart of the country, this track wasn’t just a venue; it was an institution, revered by drivers and fans alike for its unique layout and electrifying atmosphere.

Jas Mangat back in the days of the Subaru N12b in Lubiri

Situated in a picturesque location of Kampala, the track offered spectators an unparalleled viewing experience. Positioned on hills surrounding the circuit, fans could watch the rally cars navigate the twists and turns below, ensuring both excitement and safety. With panoramic views of the entire city, Lubiri was more than just a race track; it was a spectacle.

What set Lubiri apart was its challenging layout. The track boasted flat-out stretches that tested the limits of drivers’ skills, culminating in hairpin bends that demanded precision and nerve. Adding to the excitement were roundabouts strategically placed in each lane, intensifying the competition and thrilling spectators.

Over the years, Lubiri witnessed the rise of legendary drivers who honed their craft on its gravel. Names like Ronald Sebuguzi, piloting the Mitsubishi Evo9, and Jas Mangat, behind the wheel of the Subaru N12b, became synonymous with victory at this iconic venue. Duncan Mubiru, meanwhile, carved his legacy driving the Mitsubishi Evo5 before dazzling fans with the Subaru Impreza N14.

Duncan Mubiru pushing the Subaru N14 during the CBS sprint back in the day

For fans, Lubiri was more than just a racing venue; it was a pilgrimage site. Enthusiasts from all corners of Uganda flocked to witness their favorite drivers battle it out on the double circuit. The air buzzed with excitement as engines roared and tires screeched on the gravel, creating memories that would last a lifetime.

Sadly, the once-thriving Lubiri Double Race Circuit now lies dormant. For over a decade, the track has been silent, its grandstands empty, and its gravel cold. In mid-2013, all motorsport activities were abruptly halted just after Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally 2013, leaving a void in Uganda’s racing community.

Kenya’s Peter Horsey thrilling the fans during the Pearl of Africa Rally 2013 in Lubiri

Owned by the Buganda Kingdom government, Lubiri’s fate hangs in the balance. While its glory days may seem like a distant memory, there remains hope that one day, the roar of engines will once again fill the air, and the cheers of fans will echo through its hills and banana plantations.

zambia’s Mohammed Essa during the 2013 pearl of Africa Rally superspecial stage in Lubiri

As we reflect on the days of Lubiri Double Race Circuit, we are reminded of its significance in Uganda’s motorsport history. Let us not forget the thrills it provided, the champions it crowned, and the camaraderie it fostered. And let us hold onto the hope that one day, racing will return to this beloved track, reigniting the passion and excitement that once defined it.

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