By James Bakama and Johnson Were
Friday and Saturday
Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Rally
ARC Point Standings
1. Gary Chaynes (I.Coast) 76pts
(Mistibish Evo X)
2. Mohamed Essa (Zambia) 75pts
3. Jaspreet Chatthe (Kenya) 58pts
(Mistibish Evo X)
4. Giancarlo Davite (Rwanda) 27pts
5. M. Soumaoro (I.Coast) 18pts
6. Abdu Ssempebwa (Uganda) 18pts
Former Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally champion Ponsiano Lwakataka will follow this year’s event from the sidelines after his efforts to make a late registration proved futile.
Lwakataka, winner of Uganda’s top rally in 2011, came in to register on Thursday after the required number of 40 cars being filled.
This year’s event that has attracted eight foreign competitors will have its super stage in Matugga on Friday before rally action in Semuto the following day.
Lwakataka and his co-driver George Ssemakula was the fourth crew to miss registration last week.
“We have only 45 tracking devices of which four will be route openers and sweeper and we could not afford more entries,” explained Clerk of the Course David Bitalo. The tracking devices are an International Automobile Federation (FIA) requirement.
“Last year we did not have enough tracking devices as per the 45 required, and FIA was very bitter since they pay for the service. It is not Lwakataka alone. There were other drivers also left out,” Bitalo added.
Gary Chaynes, who leads the Africa Rally Championship standings at 76 points, became the first foreign driver to arrive on Sunday. He is from Ivory Coast.
The rest of the foreign entries arrived on Monday. Defending champion Jas Mangat in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 will be flagged off first.
The rally starts with the two sections of 14.84 km in Matugga that will be repeated before heading to Semuto in Luwero district for the other sections and then return to Matugga for the fifth and ninth sections that will cover a total distance of 37.4kms.
Meanwhile, the event got a boost on Monday from Ogas Solutions that committed sh2.5m in cash for payment of the safety marshals and also committed its team on training safety marshals.
The Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally is co-sponsored by Silver Springs Hotel, Ogas solution, Fire and Safety Appliance, Zion Estates, Coca Cola, Ambulance Africa, Vivo Energy and Swatt Security.
Lwakataka locked out of rally