ARC standing after Zambia:
- Karan Patel – 120
- Jas Mangat – 111
- Yasin Nasser – 93
During the second last event of the 2023 Africa Rally Championship (ARC) that came to a close on Sunday at Lusaka Motorsport Club in Zambia, Moil-sponsored rally crew of Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba (co-driver) retired in service before the last two stages of the event due to extensive damage on the gearbox of their Ford Fiesta R5 ‘Nemo’.
“Good afternoon, sadly we are out of the rally due to extensive gear box damage. Inshallah we meet in Iringa,” wrote Nasser.
Moil crew suffered another bad incident in the previous event of the ARC (Mountain Gorilla Rally) held in Rwanda last month after they got a scary moment in SS4, when their car veered off road and got stuck in heaped dry and wet hay, that prompted burning of their car from exhaust as they tried to get back on road. However, the crew escaped safely and flames put out.
Heading into the Zambia event, the Moil crew was on top of the championship standings with 93 points, three points ahead of Kenya’s Karan Patel. Moil crew’s country mate (Ugandan) Jas Mangat was third with 87 points.
However, a lot has changed after the event in Lusaka. Patel resumes the lead of the ARC with 120 points, Mangat now second with 111, and Nasser (Moil crew) third with 93points.
Meanwhile, proceedings in Lusaka turned out to be a Karan Patel and Leroy Gomez affair, with a one second separation of the two after leg 1, finally had the scores settled when the Zambian hit a hidden tree stump on stage 13.
Gomez embarked on his fierce battle with Patel in Chartonel stage, where he picked 20 seconds off him, but was same way rewarded in Bull stage, Patel clinching to the lead in Waterfalls stage with 12 seconds.
This sent both teams to high charging, before repeat of Bull stage, that saw Gomez co-driven by his wife Urshlla, painfully drop out.
“Our hearts are ok. We didn’t win it for mother Zambia this time…but we sure did have fun trying,” read statement from team’s social media page.
After Leroy’s fate, Patel decided to let ease in last three stages, having Uganda’s Jas Mangat pull off some seconds from him, but couldn’t turn the tables around, ending the rally second overall, one minute 33 seconds apart.
Hamza Anwar who had bad outing on day one, with a number of mechanical gremlins, and returned on day two under super rally, got his podium finish chances brightened, when Moil’s Yasin Nasser got forced out of event by gearbox problem with two stages to go.
Another day two returnee, Tanzania’s Prince Charles Nyerere has a reason to celebrate after finishing fourth overall in ARC classification, keeping him atop of ARC Junior championship with 78 points, Anwar second with 60 points.
Crews head to Tanzania next month for last ARC round that will help settle their odds.