By Johnson Were
KAMPALA - The Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda rally proved to be the toughest round of this year’s Africa Championship as drivers battled the wet slippery track in the first two sections in Matugga on Friday.
Defending champion crew of Jas Mangat and Tasha Tundo in a Mistubishi Evo10 were the first casualty in the top crew as their machine developed gearbox failure in the second section leaving Kenyan crew of Jaspreet Chatthe driving a Mistubishi Evo10 to win the day after posting 24 minutes 43 seconds.
Former Africa champion Mohammed Essa finished second while Uganda’s crew of Ronald Ssebuguzi and Cederic Buzabo in Mistubishi Evo9 finished in third place.
Garry Chaynes , the Ivorian leading the ARC standings, took 4th place on the first day, with Rai Singh, Rwandese Giancarlo Davite, and Manvir Baryan finishing 5th, 6th and 7th respectively.
Uganda’s John Consta was in 8th place and MOIL-sponsored team of Arthur Blick Jr and Unisan Bakunda finished in 9th.
The crew of Abdu Ssempebwa and Francis Wamala made poor time while ‘Black Widow’ and Ritah Nakigozi suffered engine failure.
The drivers had two challenges on Day One: their competition and the wet slippery surface. PHOTO/Mpalanyi Ssentongo
Meanwhile Suzan Muwonge aka Super Lady and National Council of Sports-sponsored crew of Leila Irene Blick were still tussling it out with the men.
The Shell-V Power Pearl of Africa Rally is co-sponsored by Silver Springs Hotel, Coca Cola, Dasani Water, Fire and Safety Appliances and Ogas Solutions.
1. Jaspreet Chatthe 00:24:43
2. Mohammed Essa 00:24:49
3. Ronald Ssebuguzi 00:24:58
4. Garry Chaynes 00:25:30
5. Rajbir Singh Rai 00:25:36
6. Giancarlo Davite 00:26.01
7. Manvir Baryan 00:26:41
8. John Costa 00:27:42
9. Arthur Blick 00:28:21
10. Christakis Fitidis 00:28:25
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Pearl of Africa rally: Mangat out as Chatthe leads Day One