BY SAMSON ATEKA
Current KNRC leader Jassi Chatthe has opened a 6 second lead from 2013 champion Essa Mohammed of Zambia as Day 1 of the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally ended yesterday.
Chatthe, who is being navigated by legendary four times ARC Champion Dave Sihoka of Zambia, clocked 24.43 minutes driving a Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX.
Second was Essa on 24.49 minutes navigated by Zimbabwean Gareth Dawe in a Subaru N16.
EVO 9 driver Ronald Ssebuguzi better known as Sebu is the highest placed Ugandan in third position. The Ugandan is plotting to clinch the Pearl title that has eluded him in all his attempts. Like Chatthe, Sebu leads the Ugandan NRC series and hopes to break the duck in his home event.
The current continental leader Gary Chaynes from Ivory Coast is lying fourth and 47 seconds behind the leader.
The 16th edition of the two-day Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally got underway with two competitive sections (CS) at Star City yesterday.
Eight foreign crews including, Gary Chaynes, Morifere Soumaoro (Ivory Coast), Mohamed Essa (Zambia), Jaspreet Chatthe, Chhabhadia Chandrakant (Kenya) Giancarlo Davite (Rwanda), and Christakis Fitidis are gunning for honours.
Ssebuguzi, the current NRC leader, will open the route 522km event that is co-sponsored by Shell V-Power, Silver Springs Hotel and Fire and Safety appliances. If it continues raining, the NRC leader says the route will be so complicated for all the drivers.
Ssebuguzi (Evo IX) is eyeing victory. “I have focused on winning this year’s event to strengthen my chances of taking the NRC title,” said the Shell sponsored driver. “It would also be good for the title sponsors.”
The rally is expected to draw mammoth crowds in routes considering it is the biggest and most popular on the local calendar in Uganda and the sixth round on the ARC calendar.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke