All Focus Shifts To The Pearl Of Africa Uganda Rally 2024


By mwambazi lawrence

As the dust settles on the tracks of the recently concluded SMC Masaka Challenge Rally, all eyes turn to the upcoming spectacle of speed and skill, the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally. Set to be the third round of the Uganda National Rally Championship and at the sametime the opening round of the Africa Rally Championship, this event stands as a testament to Uganda’s rich rallying history and its aspirations for continental dominance.

The 2023 Africa Rally Champions Karan Patel and Tausef Khan celebrate the win in Rwanda after the Mt Gorilla Rally 2023

The roots of the Pearl of Africa Rally trace back to 1997 when Uganda, inspired by the success of hosting Burundi’s Great Lakes Rally the previous year, sought to establish its own African Rally Championship event. The event takes its name from the renowned phrase coined by Winston Churchill during his visit to Uganda, where he christened the country as the ‘Pearl of Africa,’ a title that resonates with the natural beauty and allure of the region.

Throughout its history, the rally has seen the rise of remarkable drivers who have left an indelible mark on Uganda’s rallying landscape. Legends such as Sospeter Munyegera, Shekhar Mehta, Satwant Singh, Charlie Lubega, Moses Lumala, Emmanuel Katto, and Chipper Adams have etched their names into the annals of Ugandan motorsport, inspiring generations of aspiring rally enthusiasts.

Scheduled for May 10th to 12th, 2024, the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally promises an exhilarating journey through the scenic vistas of Jinja’s sugarcane plantations. With 11 special stages covering a mammoth distance of 525 kilometers, including 209.45 kilometers of competitive sections and 316.46 kilometers of liaison, the rally presents a formidable challenge for drivers and navigators alike.

The 2023 ovarall winners Duncan Mubiru and Joseph Bongole cruising their ford Fiesta proto to victory during the pearl Rally 2023 in Jinja

What sets this edition apart is its status as the opening round of the Africa Rally Championship, drawing competitors from neighboring countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, and beyond. As crews gear up to battle for African supremacy, the Pearl of Africa Rally emerges as a melting pot of talent, diversity, and sheer adrenaline-fueled competition.

Reflecting on the previous edition, the victors, Duncan Mubiru and Joseph Bongole, showcased their prowess behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta proto, clinching the overall title. Meanwhile, Yassin Nasser and Ali Katumba emerged triumphant in the ARC category, navigating their Ford Fiesta R5 to glory.

ARC category winners of the Pearl of Africa rally 2023 Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba celebrating their victory

As the countdown to the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally begins, anticipation builds among rallying enthusiasts and competitors alike. With its rich heritage, challenging terrain, and fierce competition, this iconic event stands as a beacon of motorsport excellence, ready to carve another chapter in the storied history of African rallying.

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