Kenya rally driver Karan Patel enters the Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa rally this weekend targeting his first win, a move local crews led by two times winner Jas Mangat (2013 and 2022) are out to stop.
Charlie Lubega, is the only Ugandan driver that has won the pearl thrice (2000, 2003 and 2004) and Jas Mangat remains the man to follow in the footsteps of retired driver Lubega.
Despite issues with his car of late and the modernity in the game of motorsport where the error of new cars is high, Mangat is unfazed to win this weekend’s rally.
Weather might be of any effect towards the end result in the rally but Joseph Kamya, a navigator to Jas Mangat, believes they have learnt how to negotiate the route amidst rainy situations.
‘It seems every pearl we shall have rain and this is the situation we have studied. Good that it will not only be rainy on our side but also other drivers will be using the same route,” said Kamya who was in preparation for the rally on Monday morning.
The issue of new powerful cars the R5s which are currently modern tools of the rally Kamya said that they will have their EvoX since their plan didn’t go as expected.
“we were expecting to drive an R5 car during pearl but we didn’t predict the delays in having it in Uganda and we shall still use the EvoX and expect it to perform. We used it in Kenya during the equator rally and we got some promising results,” added Kamya.
Karan Patel, who competed somehow favorably last year, remains one of the skilled drivers to give the locals a run for their money.
The third round of the Africa rally championship only attracted two foreign crews and a total thirty four entrants, seven of which are competing for the continental title. But, Ronald Ssebuguzi who has three National Rally championship titles has never tasted the Pearl of Africa rally and will be out to break the jinx. That is what is going to make this pearl of rally a grueling event.
Drivers will cover a total of 498km of which 207km is competitive spread over 12 Competitive Sections, seven on Saturday and five on Sunday. Transport section will cover 291km in Areas of Jinja and Buikwe district.