The 2020 Federation of Motorsports Clubs of Uganda National Rally Championship (NRC) calendar kicks off Friday, February 14, with 32 Rally crews registered to take part in the Rukaari-Lake Mburo Mbarara Rally.
Yasin Nasser, the NRC defending champion shall not be part due to his inability to come back in time from Kenya where he participated in the East African Rally Championship opener.
This particular leg of the NRC started in 2010 with Ponsiano Lwakataka the first driver to emerge victorious in Mbarara. 11 years down the road, six different drivers have managed to reach the podium first. These include Lwakataka, Suzan Muwonge, Jas Mangat, Duncan Mubiru, Ronald Ssebuguzi and Omar Mayanja.
Mangat is the most successful driver in Mbarara winning this event on three different occasions in 2012, 2018 and 2019 while Lwakataka and Mubiru have won it twice with the former winning in 2010 and 2013 while the later immerged victorious in 2014 and 2015. Muwonge, Ssebuguzi and Mayanja won in 2011, 2016 and 2017 respectively. .
Watch dog Uganda has taken a look into the last five Mbarara rallies and how special are those winners.
Jas Mangat – 2012, 2018, 2019
He is defending Champion of the Mbarara Rally and most triumphant in the area. Mangat is a talented, lucky and strong hearted driver who found himself in this sport as a result of a rally car that was donated to his father as a gift from a friend in Kigali. His father had tried several times and failed to fix the car. This, Mangat managed to do and joined the next rally in 2003. He was born by Uganda born father but Mangat himself was born in Canada but has lived in the Pearl of Africa for the last two decades
Like Ssebuguzi, Mangat is a three-time NRC champion having attained the first crown in 2012 after posting a time loss of 2:14:56 to win the two-day Masaka Independence Rally hence being crowned with three calendar events to spare. He had won four events on the calendar. 2013 was his major sporting year winning the NRC and nearly winning the Africa Rally Championship.
In 2016, Mangat secured a third NRC title with a dominating performance in the Mosac rally in Jinja. Navigated by Joseph Kamya, Mangat comfortably took charge of the two day event taking lead from day one to the final through the 150.58km distance in 1:34:51 to secure his third NRC title with 400 points winning the title with A magical six points ahead of Hassan Alwi.
Omar Mayanja – 2017
Mayanja won the Mbarara rally in 2017 and like Mubiru, Mayanja is yet to win a National Rally Championship. He has won only three events in his rallying career the first one being the 2014 Pearl of Africa Rally followed by the Independence Rally the same year.
He had a win less drought of two years until he won Mbarara Rally in 2017 with his co-driver Hussein Mukuye in a Mitsubishi Evo X upsetting all the pre-event favorites including Ssebuguzi finishing two minutes ahead of him.
Ronald Ssebuguzi – 2016
He won Mbarara Rally in 2016. Ssebuguzi is a three-time NRC winning his maiden NRC in 2006 after a tough physical and verbal competition with Lwakataka. This after Ssebuguzi acquired a powerful machine (Mitsubishi Evo4) from Charlie Lubega, also a former NRC champion. His second NRC second was clinched in 2009 while in 2014 won the third in style finishing second behind the crew of Omar Mayanja and Leon Ssenyange in the Independence Rally in Luwero. The third title put him one short of Charlie Lubega and Sam Sali, all of whom had won four titles. Sali won four in a row between 1989 and 1992 while Lubega had dominated the rally scene in the early 2000s, winning titles 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.
Duncan Mubiru – 2015
Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru is the second most successful in Mbarara having won the event in 2014 and 2015. He is yet to win a National Rally Championship. His early beginnings were not smooth and it took him years without win of a rally till 2012 when he won UMC Challenge Rally with a 10-seconds lead from Day One. He finished the 243km rally in 40:30 in his Subaru N14 beating the second placed Ssebuguzi in Mitsubishi Evo. 9 with one minute and 56 seconds. Mubiru last won a rally event in 2017 in Kabale Rally.
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