Just about everyone fell by the wayside yesterday. The Pearl of Africa Rally has become famed for its toughness, competitiveness and unending early exits. Incredible drama indeed.
Defending champion Ponsiano Lwakataka started the sequence before being joined by a host of names, including ‘roll master’ Wycliff Bukenya, Satvinder Singh, Geoffrey Nsamba, Christakis Fitidis, Peter Kakaire and Fred Wampamba.
It was a procession of misery. But then again, that is what makes the Shell Pearl Rally such a thriller. Because you are bound to expect the unexpected.
The one man who seems to defy any odds is Zambian sensation Mohammed Essa. The 23-year-old ACCA graduate used all his intellect, brains, and calmness to maintain a narrow lead over Jas Mangant after the first two sections of the day.
After the sections of Wabutngulu-Busika and Busika-Service Park, Essa had posted a time of 27.43. Mangant followed on 28.53 while Ssebuguzi was third (29.11). Sportsman of the Year Susan Muwonge meanwhile drove a steady race and wasn’t far off.
Today’s final round is sure to provide a few more dramatic scenes. Essa appears to be in control but Mangat won’t go away. It should be an enthralling climx to the 2012 Shell Pearl of Africa Rally.
Drivers out of pearl
Ponsiano Lwakataka (Subaru N8)
Wycliff Bukenya (Mitsbushi Evo 9)
Geoffrey Nsamba (Mitsbushi Evo 5)
John Consta (Subaru N8)
Duncan Mubiru ‘Kikankane’ (Subaru N14)
Eunice Bakunda (Mitsbushi Evo 7)
Peter Kakaire (Subaru N10)
Christakis Fitidis (Subaru N12)
Satvinder Singh (Subaru N8)
Jamil Kyengo (Peugeot 206)
Fred Wampamba (Celica)
By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo, Daily Monitor