The 2016 Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa rally started in high gear as several crews tussled it out at the Busiika motorsport arena on Friday.
The day started with Hon. Mike Mukula flagging off the crews at Silver springs hotel in Bugolobi.
Of the 53 crews that registered, side effects http://central-alarm.com/wp-content/plugins/revslider/inc_php/elements_base.class.php 43 were flagged off with the other 10 pulling out for various reasons. Notable among the drivers that pulled out was Possiano Lwakataka citing lack of sponsorship while Pole Pole indicated business commitments.
Rwanda’s Giancarlo Davite did not take part in this year’s race because he is still serving a one year ban by the Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC). Other drivers included Issa Amwari, patient Susan Muwonge,Musa Kabega,Godfrey Sine,Christine Akello,William Kabanda and Dan Kyembe.
At the flagging, Hassan Alwi got off the ramp first followed by Ronald Ssebuguzi and Muna Singh Jnr as the crews headed to Motorsport arena, Busiika.
Ronald Ssebuguzi and Zambia’s Muna Singh Jnr led the 4km Super special stage both recording 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Desh Kananura who finished overall second at last year’s Pearl of Africa rally came third at 2 minutes and 23 seconds while Valery Bukera clocked 2 minutes 24 seconds.
It was sad news for Tanzanian driver Tufail Amin alias Mafu Mafu who rolled on his first run and got his windscreen damaged but he is expected to return on day two after repairs.
The crews move to Mubende for day two on Saturday with Ssebuguzi and Hassan Alwi battling for the National rally championship (NRC) title while Muna Singh Jnr will be looking at closing gap on Don Smith on the ARC crown with the latter leading on 79 points, 24 points ahead of Muna with two events to the end of the season with the Pearl of Africa rally inclusive.