Federation of Motorsports Clubs of Uganda (FMU-UG) together with National Council of Sports (NCS) on Tuesday flagged off Ugandan crews for the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally 2023 scheduled for 22rd-24th September, 2023. The exercise took place at Lugogo Sports Complex in Kampala.
The Rwanda event is the fifth round of the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) with Uganda fielding 13 crews led by three main contenders, that is; Yasin Nasser/Ali Katumba, Jas Mangat/Escatefigue Jules
(FRA) and Innocent Bwamiki/Hamza Lwanga.
Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba who have been firing out from all pistons of their Fiesta are the 2023 African Rally Championship leaders with 78 points. Jas Mangat and Escatefigue Jules are second with 63 points.
“We are prepared for this event and we expect to win it but in case of anything, the least we expect to finish is second place. On that note we hope for the best,” Ali Katumba told the media on Tuesday at Lugogo adding that; “I have a strong feeling that the ARC title will come to Uganda this year and it will be us or Jas Mangat and his co-driver to bring it home.”
Innocent Bwamiki and Hamza Lwanga are another crew to look out for and the latter told media that their main aim is to secure good points in Rwanda in order to bridge the gap with the leaders.
“Our car (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) is in good shape and we are ready to conquer the terrain. For us all we want is to secure good points because the ARC is about to climax,” Lwanga said adding that a podium finish would be a good thing for them.
The other Ugandan crews set to feature at the Rwanda event are; Balondemu Gilberto and Walugyo Gilbert, Nyanzi Issa and Samir Nasser, Wotolya Mwami Muzamir and Kevin Lubambula, Rashid Makumbi and Mwambazi Lawrence, Isaac Sozzi and Birwinyo Monica, Bwete Muhamend and Shakirah Nabwami, Umar Dauda and Bunya Steven, Peter kalule and David Mwesigwa, Nasser Mutebi and Mbogo Bashir & Busulwa Fred Kitaka and Kibuuka Mildred.
FMU Vice President Reynolds Kibira revealed that it’s a joy to send such a large field of riders to a continental a circuit and he hopes that the Ugandan crews dominate proceedings.
David Katende Semakula who is the Assistant General Secretary at NCS thanked the drivers for being good ambassadors of the country for a long time now.
The Rwanda event will be hosted by the Rwanda Automobile Club, and it is a 348.18 km stretch with 6 stages.
The sixth leg of ARC, the Zambia International Rally, will be held in Zambia from the 20th to the 22nd of October before climaxing with the Rally of Tanzania from November 10-12.