In pictures: Charles Muhangi the rally driver

By Joseph Kizza

Looking back at the career of the only Ugandan to have won the African Rally Championship, achieving this with his beloved Subaru car.

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TRIBUTE

Ugandan business tycoon Charles Muhangi died Thursday at his home in Buziga, Kampala.

While he was renowned in the business circles, the 62-year-old Horizon Coaches proprietor also left a sizeable footprint in the sports industry - particularly motorsport.

The enthusiastic rally driver won the National Rally Championship in 1998, before adding gloss to his credentials the following year by winning the the African Rally Championship.

Here are some moments from his illustrious career behind the speed wheels . . .

 


Muhangi had a thing for Subaru.

Talk of 'Ekitaguriro' and one name pops up. Charles Muhangi.

 

 

 


On November 30, 2003, while cruising his Subaru Impreza and raising the red stuff during the Champion of Champions Sprint at Lubiri circuit, Muhangi may not have immediately noticed that one of his rear tyres had completely wore off and part of his machine was running on a wheel.

It was a hot Sunday.

 

 

 


A month earlier, during the Castro-Mogas Independence Rally in Masaka on October 26, 2003, one female fan decided to get closer to the action as she watched Muhangi power his speed machine.

In his wake, the racer left enthusiastic supporters washed in a cloud of dust as his Subaru powered past.

 

 

 


For the typical rally driving fan, it's all about the thrill. 

During the Royal Birthday Sprint in Lubiri on November 4, 2004, Muhangi huffed and puffed on the dusty course as watchers kept a safe distance between them and the action. Here, it was the moment for the famous Subaru to shine.

 

 

 

 


The following year, on April 10, 2005, New Vision's Ayiga Ondoga snapped rally driver Muhangi with his navigator musician Jose Chameleone all strapped up and ready to hit the gas.

It was a Sunday and this was during the Ronald Ssebuguzi Fundraising Drive at Garuga.

 

 


Before getting on the road, both driver and navigator had to fill in forms for the event.

 

 

 


As the duo waited for their turn to race, they munched away on apples at a well-attended rally event at Garuga, off Entebbe Road.

 

 

 


The previous year, in September 2004, Muhangi powered his blue Subaru Impreza during the Total Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally on a sweltering day.

 


That very year, on February 21, the rally ace put the pedal to the metal and flew over a bridge during the Mbarara Rally Sprint.

He was driving car number 16.

 

 

 

 


Here, 49-year-old Muhangi was pictured at Kakyeka Service Park in Mbarara on July 31, 2005.

 

 

 


Muhangi hit the local rallying scene in early 1990s, and would go on to stamp a gigantic footprint on the Ugandan motorsport scene.

He is the only Ugandan to have won the African Rally Championship. Here in East Africa, Kenya has won the title the most number of times (five).

In fact, the last three titles have been won by Kenya.

 

 

 

 
While the cause of his death is yet to be established, Charles Muhangi's name will remain emblazoned in Uganda's motorsport history books.


Rest in peace, champ.




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