Two local crews have registered to take part in 2017 Pearl of Africa Rally scheduled from June 29 to July 1 in the Ugandan districts of Luwero and Kayunga.
The duo includes; Jean Claude Gakwaya and his navigator Jean Claude Mugabo in their Subaru Impreza, as well as Yoto Fabrice and Regis Remede, who will be cruising a Toyota Celica.
Gakwaya confirmed that he will race in the Pearl of African Rally and the Rally Tanzania, which is scheduled for August.
For Yoto, he said, “Competing in the Pearl of Africa Rally is a great opportunity to try and gain more experience against some of the most experienced drivers.”
Meanwhile, over 50 crews from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Ivory Coast, are expected to start the three-day race.
Valery Bukera, winner of the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally last year, is the only Burundian driver expected to participate in the rally as he targets to win his ARC title, while Zambia will have the Gomes brothers, Leroy and Kleevan, who will be making their debut in Uganda as they chase their first ARC points.
The other foreign crews include: Jaspreet Chatthe/Curdeep Singh-Evo X, Manvir Baryin/Drew Sturrock-Skoda Fabia RS, and Dilraj Chatte/Ismail Riyaz-Evo X, all from Kenya.
According to Federation Motorsport Uganda (FMU), this year’s race, which is 4th on the ARC calendar, will differ from the past two events because of a few adjustments made to try and make the stages safer and less challenging for the drivers.
The Pearl of Africa Rally will start with a Super Special Stage at the Motorsport Arena Busiiki where two runs will be covered before the crews head off for the 14km stage at Nakifuma and six stages will be covered by the crews on day two.
Ugandan driver Hassan Alwi and Enoch Olinga won last year’s edition after posting a time of 2 hours 41.03 minutes, finishing ahead of second-placed Arthur Blick Jr.