The Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally lived up to its reputation with big names dropping out on day one.
Jas Mangat, the defending champion, was the biggest casualty on Friday when his Evo X suffered gear box problem in Matugga. He was soon joined by Hajji Abdu Ssempebwa (Subaru N11) who was time barred and Black Widow whose engine gave way.
While Mangat was licking his wounds, Jaspreet Chatthe from Kenya (Evo X), Mohammed Essa from Zambia (Subaru N16) and Ronald Ssebuguzi (Evo IX) took advantage to share the top three places in that order. The trio after two competitive sections of 29.68km were separated by less than 15 seconds in an enthralling battle.
Gary Chaynes, the ARC leader from Ivory Coast, was fourth ahead of Rajbir Rai and Giancarlo Davite. All three are driving Evo X machines.
Thirty three cars out of 36 who started the event managed to survive the slippery sections following heavy rains including John Consta, Arthur Blick Jr and Susan Muwonge.
Shell and Silver Springs are supporting the event with Shs100m and Shs82m sponsorship packages respectively. Other sponsors of the rally are Coca Cola and Fire and Safety Appliances.
Winners since 2009
2009- Riyaz Kurji (Kenya, RIP)
2010- James Whyte (Zimbabwe)
2011- Ponsiano Lwakataka
2012- Muhammed Essa (Zambia)
2013- Jas Mangat
Gary Chaynes (Ivory Coast) – 76
Mohamed Essa (Zambia) – 75
Jaspreet Chatthe (Kenya) – 58
Giancarlo Davite (Rwanda) – 27
Abdu Sempebwa (Uganda) – 18
Courtesy of monitor.co.ug