Only two foreign crews have entered this year’s Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally scheduled for August 1st – 3rd, 2019 in Luweero and Kayunga districts.
Defending African rally champion Manvir Baryan from Kenya has won the rally in 2017 and 2018 and will be hoping to make it three in a row.
The other pretty much exciting foreign entry in this year’s rally is Tanzania’s Dharam Pandya, who will be making his debut in the Pearl of Africa Uganda.
In fact, the two-time Tanzania national rally champion has not competed in a rally outside his native country despite holding over 17 years of rallying experience.
And ahead of his debut, Pandya expressed the desire he has always held to rally in Uganda.
“My dreams come true after 17 years,” Pandya told FMU Media.
“I have always wanted to race in Uganda. Since the 2002 East African Classic rally, I have always dreamt of competing on the awesome red soil through the sugar plantations plus the beautiful scenery”.
However, he revealed that competing in Uganda for the first time will go a long way in enhancing his experience as a driver as Uganda stages offer a different mix to those that he normally competes on at home.
“Pearl rally will surely provide a great ground for good competition given a long list of crews and the amazing fans. Going through the stages in plantations will be a bonus to my experience and I expect it will be a tight race”.
No Tanzanian crew has won the rally previously, and Pandya asserted that he will do everything possible to fly the flag as high as he can.
“I go to Uganda very focused and plan to put up a strong performance as I raise the Tanzanian flag up to the podium”.
Pandya will be competing in a Subaru Impreza VAB and will be navigated by Ugandan navigator Moses Matovu. The pair last competed together in 2018 during the Mkwawa Pure Drinking Water Rally of Morogoro which they sadly failed to finish.