2024 NRC Mid-Season Review The Thrills, Spills, and Unforgettable Action


Jas Mangat finished second to maintain hopes of winning the continental title. Photo by Johnson Were

Welcome to the 2024 NRC mid-season review, where the dust has yet to settle, and the competition remains fierce. With three events down and four more to go, the Uganda National Rally Championship (NRC) has delivered unpredictable and exhilarating action. This year’s championship features seven all-gravel rounds, testing the skill and endurance of the drivers in some of Uganda’s most challenging terrains. Here’s a look at how the season has unfolded so far.

NRC1: MPU Mbarara City Rally 2024

The season kicked off with the MPU Mbarara City Rally in early February. The rally lived up to its reputation, with high-speed action and excited fans lining the stages. Former NRC champion Jas Mangat, alongside Enoch Olinga, set the pace for the season by clinching victory. Their dominant performance was a clear statement of intent for the championship ahead.

NRC1 winner Jas Mangat in action

Jonas Kansime and Ronald Bukenya secured second place in their Mitsubishi Evo 8, while Ponsiano Lwakataka completed the podium. Dr. Moustapha, in his newly acquired Mitsubishi Evo 9, was nothing short of spectacular, finishing fourth. Local hero Didas Matsiko rounded out the top five.

Jonas Kansime clinched 2nd in the opening round in Mbarara

In the 2WD category, Edward Kirumira and Nabwami Shakirah took the top spot in their Toyota Corolla. Ibrahim Lubega and Samuel Watendwa battled fiercely for second place, with Lubega edging out by just one second. The Clubman category was dominated by Musa Segabwe and Mathias Kiyega in a Mitsubishi Evo 9, winning all stages. Odeon Tumwebaze and Asuman Mohammed achieved their first career podium, finishing second, while Kyabampe John Paul and Mungufeni Phineas came third.

CRC hopefull Musa Segabwe had a trouble free rally in mbarara

NRC2: SMC Challenge Rally Masaka

The second round in Masaka, the SMC Challenge Rally, presented a different kind of challenge with rain and mud making the stages treacherous. Homeboy Nasser Mutebi, with Steven Bunya navigating, claimed a long-overdue victory in his Mitsubishi Evo 9. This win came after a dramatic decision to disqualify initial winner Jas Mangat for receiving outside assistance. Dr. Moustapha Mukasa and Mwambazi Lawrence continued their impressive form, finishing second, which marked their first career podium. This performance propelled them to second in the NRC standings. Jonas Kansime and Ronald Bukenya finished third, putting them at the top of the NRC leaderboard.

2010 National Rally Champion Nasser Mutebi came back strong to win the wet home event.

In the 2WD category, Nsereko Godfrey, navigated by JB Musisi in their Toyota Rux, took the win despite an off-road excursion. Edward Kirumira and Nabwami Shakira finished second, maintaining their strong position in the standings. Musa Segabwe and Mathias Kiyega once again excelled in the Clubman category, winning despite a challenging start. Kataza Haruna and Urban Mulindwa finished second, followed by Ssenyonjo Ahmed in third.

Stabex sponsored Edward Kirumira in action during the SMC Challenge Rally.

NRC3/ARC1: Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally 2024

The third round took the NRC to Jinja, doubling as the first round of the African Rally Championship (ARC). The event attracted entries from Kenya, adding an international flavor to the competition. Karan Patel, the 2023 ARC champion, delivered a masterclass in his Skoda Fabia R5, winning eight out of nine stages. Jas Mangat, driving a Hyundai i20, finished second overall and first among Ugandan drivers, reclaiming the top spot in the NRC standings. Hamza Anwar from Kenya completed the ARC podium. Ronald Sebuguzi and Anthony Mugambwa made a strong comeback, finishing fourth overall. However, misfortune struck Ponsiano Lwakataka, who was disqualified after being towed from the stage to the service park.

2023 ARC champions Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan had a good start to the ARC season with a win in Uganda.

In the 2WD category, Ibrahim Lubega and Kanakulya Mustapha triumphed in their Toyota FX, with Sadat Negomba and Samuel Watendwa taking second and third respectively. The Clubman category saw Musa Segabwe once again victorious, with Haruna Kataza and Odeon Tumwebaze completing the podium.

The Road Ahead

With three rounds completed and two different winners, the NRC remains wide open. Jas Mangat leads the standings, but the competition is close behind. Jonas Kansime and Dr. Moustapha are both within striking distance, promising an intense battle in the remaining four events.

A good season sofar for Dr Moustapha Mukasa lying 3rd on the NRC

As we head into the second half of the season, the stakes are higher than ever. The drivers will face new challenges and terrains, each round bringing its own set of surprises. Who will emerge victorious in this unpredictable and thrilling championship?

NRC 2024 Standings After Three Rounds

Overall Standings

  1. Jas Mangat – 140 points
  2. Jonas Kansime – 136.5 points
  3. Dr. Moustapha Mukasa – 126 points
  4. Didas Matsiko – 97 points
  5. Fred Busulwa – 75.5 points

2WD Category

  1. Edward Kirumira – 54.5 points
  2. Ibrahim Lubega – 48 points
  3. Samuel Watendwa – 36 points
  4. Dr. Godfrey Nsereko – 32.5 points
  5. Julius Semambo – 22 points

Clubman Category

  1. Musa Segabwe – 52 points
  2. Haruna Kataza – 42 points
  3. Odeon Tumwebaze – 24 points
  4. Hajji Ahmed Ssenyonjo – 23 points
  5. Topher Kateera – 15 points

As the competition intensifies with three rounds completed and victories split between two contenders, the race remains wide open, leaving fans and pundits alike on the edge of their seats. This uncertainty only adds to the excitement as we enter the second half of the campaign all eyes now turn to the upcoming Moil EMC Kyabazinga Rally scheduled for July 12th to 14th, promising another thrilling chapter in this fiercely contested season.

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