KCB Pearl of Africa Super Special Stage (5.30km)
IF Christakis Fitidis is tense ahead of this year’s KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda rally, he’s not giving anything away in public.
Ahead of today’s 5.30km super special stage in Lubiri, the national rally champion’s expression has barely changed and remains unruffled even by the most difficult of questions. Instead, he remains fully focused on his subject.
“I’m relaxed,” Alonso said on Thursday. “Obviously this is a very important race for most of the drivers but I’m not letting that get to me.”
“My target is to finish inside the top three.”
After today’s circuit, cars will cover 138.22km in competitive sections on Saturday and a further 69.11km on Sunday.
The race, which is the fifth round of the Africa Rally Championship, has attracted 32 crews from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
Scrutineering of cars is set to be conducted this morning at Shell Lugogo bypass station before all cars go to Nakumatt Shopping Mall for the flag off ceremony in the afternoon.
KCB are the main sponsors with a package of $50,000 approx. (Rwf30m). Coca-cola, Iway Communications, Shell Uganda, Hotel Africana and Jomayi Property Consultants are co- sponsors.
In a related development, Uganda’s veteran rally driver Wycliff Bukenya, 57, splashed a mindboggling $60,000 (Rwf36m) on his Mitsubishi Evo9 car ahead of the 528km race.
Bukenya bought the car in Nairobi, Kenya at Rwf27m and spent an additional Rwf9m on spare parts.
The veteran driver on Tuesday raised dust in a test drive at Lubiri racing circuit where the super special stage will be held.
Pearl entry list
1. Ponsiano Lwakataka (Sub N8) Musa Nsubuga
2. James Whyte (Zw, Subaru N10) Phil Archenoul
3. R. Jean Yves (Mad, Subaru N11) R. Rila
4. Jas Mangat (Eak, Subaru N12B) Gihan De Silva
5. Fred Rakotomanga (Mad, N11) Adam Yachine
6. Ronald Sebuguzi (Evo. 9) Cedric Buzabo
7. Alain Dethise (Bru, Subaru N11) R. Vander Veken
8. Susan Muwonge (Subarun10) Edmond Kyeyune
9. Christakis Fitidis (Rw, N12)
10. Edson Mungereza (Subaru N10) Ronald Luwangula
11. Nasser Mutebi (Subaru N8) Bashiels Mbogo
12. Wycliff Bukenya (Evo. 7) Frank Serugo
13. Godfrey Lubega (Subaru N8) George Semakula
14. ‘Black Widow’ (Subaru N10) Paul Nsubuga
15. Charles Muhangi (Subaru N12B) Leon Senyange
16. Duncan Mubiru (Evo. 5) Paul Musaazi
17. Satvinder Singh (Subaru N8) Vimal Gajjar
18. George Richard (Evo. 9) J. Mungoma
19. Kenneth Ntaro (Subaru N10) Shafiq Matovu
20. Geofrey Nsamba (Seat Ibiza Gt) Edward Kiyingi
21. Dr. Ashraf Ahmed (Subaru) Daniel Ayebare
ARC standings - after round four
1. Conrad Rautenbach- 93 pts
2. James Whyte -76pts
3. Muna Singh -24pts
4. Schalk Burger -18pts
5. J-Y Ranarivelo -15pts
5. Mohammed Essa -15pts