Joshua Muwanguzi Powera his Subaru Impreza in the EMC MOIL Rally super Special stage. PHOTO BY JOHNSON WERE

By Mwambazi Lawrence

Jinja, Bugweri, Iganga, and Bugiri, July 12th-14th

The Moil EMC Kyabazinga Rally 2024 is set to be a thrilling spectacle, promising non-stop action as the National Rally Championship (NRC) reaches its midpoint. Scheduled from July 12th to 14th, this fourth round of the NRC has already attracted 37 crews, each vying for supremacy on the challenging terrains of Jinja, Bugweri, Iganga, and Bugiri.

The Battle at the Top

Championship leader Jas Mangat is eyeing maximum points to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard. Not far behind is Jonas Kansime, who enters this event determined to fight for honors and remain within striking distance. His recent outing in Rwanda, though not as successful as hoped, served as a critical test for his car, revealing the adjustments needed to keep it competitive.

NRC leader Jas Mangat during the mpu mbarara rally

Dr. Moustafah Mukasa and Mwambazi Lawrence are also in contention, aiming to secure their spots within the top three. However, Ronald Sebuguzi, trailing by a mere 29 points, is hot on their heels. One misstep could see any of these contenders slip out of the top ranks.

The 2WD Showdown

In the 2WD category, Edward Kirumira and Shakirah Nabwami are in a commanding position, with their sights set solely on winning and maintaining their lead. Close behind, Ibrahim Lubega, aka Pasuwa, is only 6.5 points adrift, ready to challenge for the top spot. Samuel Watendwa, currently in third, is poised to capitalize on any errors made by the leading crews.

Ibrahim lubega during a sprint in Busiika

Rising Stars in the CRC Category

Musa Segabwe, the new sensation in the CRC category, leads with 52 points and is eager to continue his dominance. Haruna Kataza, trailing by 10 points, is also a formidable contender, demonstrating that in rallying, anything can happen. Odeon Tumwebaze, pairing with new co-driver Lubowa Charles in a well-branded Toyota Alteza, rounds out the top three, showing significant improvement with each rally.

New kid on the block Musa Segabwe in action during the Pearl of Africa Rally.

The Local Challenge

The homegrown talent from Jinja, led by Joshua Muwanguzi and Hamza Lwanga in their freshly rebuilt Subaru Impreza N12, is ready to take on the competition from Kampala. Another notable entry is the returning crew of Mike Mukula and Edward Kiyingi in a Subaru Impreza N14, aiming to disrupt the usual order after a sabbatical.

Mike Mukula Jr during the Pearl of Africa Rally

Peter Kalule and David Mwesigwa, who made a notable podium finish last year, are also in the mix, looking to replicate their success. The 2010 Uganda National Champion Nasser Mutebi, fresh from a dramatic performance in Rwanda, is another key contender, bringing the most powerful Evo9 on the continent to the rally.

The Dark Horses

Fred Busulwa and Joseph Bongole, fresh from a strong finish in Rwanda, will be pushing hard in their Subaru Impreza N14, breathing down the neck of Didas Matsiko and Alfred Mutanda. The no-nonsense duo of John Consta and Aaron Nsamba, armed with a Ford Fiesta Proto and their slogan “Sagala Kumanya,” are ready to prove a point and climb up from their current ninth position on the leaderboard.

John Consta Karumuna in action during the champions Sprint in Busiika. PHOTO BY JOHNSON WERE

Ponsiano Lwakataka, with a resolve to redeem himself after a tough start to the season, is set to make a statement, embodying his slogan “Tetutya Bukere.”

The Main Event

The rally will be officially launched on July 5th at Nakalama Iganga, with the main event spanning from July 12th to 14th. Covering a total distance of 251.12 km, of which 121.62 km will be competitive stages, the rally promises excitement at every turn. The longest stage, named after Oketcho John Francis in Bugiri, measures 31.70 km, with the head-to-head superspecial stage at Nakalama Iganga offering fans a thrilling spectacle.

Event Clerk of Course Mr Jackson Serwanga

Day two will see action in the Jinja sugar cane plantations with two stages: Segamu 14 Consult (26 km) and MCRC (16.40 km), both repeated. According to COC Mr. Jackson Serwanga, the rally has been designed to be short and smooth, ensuring minimal wear on the cars. Multiple viewing points have been established for fans to enjoy the rally safely.“We urge the fans to keep off the roads as a safe rally is a good rally,” emphasized Serwanga, highlighting the importance of safety for both drivers and spectators.

With high stakes and fierce competition, the Moil EMC Kyabazinga Rally 2024 is set to be an unforgettable event, showcasing the best of Uganda’s rallying talent and spirit.

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