Defending African Rally Champion Manvir Baryan will return to Uganda with his Skoda Fabia R5 to try and pick up a third consecutive Pearl of Africa Rally crown.
Manvir, who is on course for his third African title, together with navigator Drew Sturrock have won both the 2017 and 2018 editions of the rally.
Manvir’s return was confirmed by the 2019 Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally clerk of course, Katende Mukiibi while releasing the entry list of 51 crews that will tackle the 201-kilometer fourth round of the National Rally Championship (NRC).
The rally – also round five of the African Rally Championship – is scheduled to start on Thursday August 1, with the mandatory scrutineering check of the vehicles before they tackle the competitive distance in Luweero and Kayunga districts on Friday and Saturday.
Also confirmed is two-time Tanzanian Rally Champion Dharam Pandya who will be navigated by respected Ugandan navigator Moses Matovu in a Subaru Impreza VAB.
The two foreign crews will be joined by 2013 winner Jas Mangat, navigated by Joseph Kamya in a Mitsubishi Evo X as well as 2011 Pearl winner Ponsiano Lwakataka in a Subaru Imprezza N12B.
National Rally Championship leading crew of Ronald Sebuguzi and Leon Ssenyange will be back to challenge for the points in order to extend their grip on the national championship. Others are defending national champion Susan Muwonge and Hassan Alwi who won the 2016 event. He will be navigated by Siraje Kyambadde in a Subaru Impreza N14.
The rally will also see a return of Kuku Ranjit Singh after a year’s sabbatical from the competition. He will be navigated by Anthony Mugambwa in a Mitsubishi Evo X. Adam Rauf Essa and Aaron Nsamba have also linked up again. They finished third when they last competed together in 2015.
There will be national rally debuts for Ibrahim Lubega and Busingye Peter but unfortunately, Rajiv Ruparellia is not considered as national regulations provide that he has to first undertake a year in the autocross championship but reports are rife that he will participate as safety car no. 0.