CHARLES Muhangi made a last minute entry, setting up a clash with his old Zimbabwean rival Jammie Whyte in the KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally next week.
Muhangi, who will make a first out this season, will be delighted to face off with Whyte who was one of the crews the Ekitaguriro beat to the 1999 Africa Rally Championship.
UPDFâ€™s Ismail Lule, who has been out of the sport for three seasons, is among 32 drivers registered for the event which is the fifth round of the continental championship. The crews that will compete in the three-day event are from Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Rwanda and Burundi.
National champion Nasser Mutebi, Ronald Ssebuguzi, Ponsiano Lwakataka, Ahmed Ashraf, Godfrey Lubega and Susan Muwonge shoulder Ugandaâ€™s hopes. Kampala based Jas Mangat who holds a Kenya license this season still enjoys local support as well and will want to do well after his second place finish in Kenyaâ€™s KCB Safari rally two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Rwenzori Bottling Company has joined the list of co-sponsors with a sh5m offer. Competitors, officials and fans will also quench their thirst with the companyâ€™s products at a subsidised price.
Gordon Ireland, the company sales and marketing manager, announced the offer at their factory at Namanve.
Event manager George Kagimu said all fans that will pay to watch the first two competitive sections of the rally in Lubiri will be entitled to a free bottle of Rwenzori water and a free Coke. Entrance is sh10,000.
â€œOur priority in this rally is safety and we have trained several marshals in that regard and we donâ€™t expect any hitches regarding safety,â€ Kagimu added.
The event will tip off with a cocktail for the 32 crews, sponsors and officials on July 14 before scrutneering the following day.
On Saturday cars will be flagged off at KCB Oasis Mall bank branch before heading to Lubiri for the first two competitive sections. The final round is due on Sunday in Mukono and Buikwe districts.
Ekitaguriro back in Pearl