With three days to go before the start of the Shell Pearl Uganda Rally 2012, tension is running high among top drivers.
NRC leader Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru has fired the first ‘shot’ by vowing to beat Ponsiano Lwakataka in the weekend event.
“Since you (Lwakataka) went to ‘exile’, rallying has moved on. We have new machines and the drivers are very fast,” Kikankane told the Daily Monitor.
“The era when ‘Mafu Mafu’ (Lwakataka) used to bulldoze other drivers to be give way is over. Cars have gone digtal and Lwakataka should buy a new car to compete with the best around.”
In his usual arrogance, Lwakataka dismissed Kikankane’s assessment of the current rally season.
He said: “It is not only a new machine that matters; a driver is equally important. Last year all the new cars dropped out and I won using my old car. This time it will not be different. Same car, same result.”
Lwakataka last participated in the Independence Rally when he was beaten to the NRC title by Susan’ Super Lady’ Muwonge.
Meanwhile, it is the turn of foreign crews recce today and tomorrow. The locals went to recce over the weekend. The event which is the fifth round of ARC will have a total of 644.89km, of which 274.14km is competitive and spread over 17 sections.
The event is sponsored by Shell Uganda to the tune of Shs170m. Other co-sponsors includes Silver Springs Hotel with a package of Shs37.5m in kind, Red Cross Society through their agents Msalaba Mwekundu and Fire Master Ltd, who have provided Firefighting trucks and equipment.
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By FREDRICK MUSISI KIYINGI, Daily Monitor