2016 NRC Champion Jas Mangat during the SMC Rally Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
  • Its yet another thrilling season put to past. Like any another season, 2016 had its own series of action, drama and exciting moments that qualify to be the highlights of the season.
Jas Mangat during the SMC masaka rally
[/media-credit] Jas Mangat during the SMC Masaka Rally Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Kawowo Sports brings you the most memorable features of the rallying year 2016.

New FMU administration

Well, to some this factor might not qualify among the season highlights but actually cannot be avoided. The Federation of Motorsports Uganda (FMU) elected in new seven management members to take on motorsport activities.

Dusman Okee became the new FMU president winning by just one vote against Jack Wavamuno. Whatever happened in the season is attributed to the leaders of the sport and we cannot deny the fact that their roles influenced some of the events of the year.

Inaugural Kabale rally

Anticipations of the event rose from time to time the moment Kabale featured on the season calendar. From the event theme; Gorillas in the Mist rally, the event launch, the rally routes; it was definitely going to be an exciting event.

Even the outbreak of an epidemic of foot and mouth disease in the western region could not limit the hype of the first rally event to run on high altitudes. From the horde of fans that invaded Kabale, the physical features and the action, many can approve Gorillas in the mist rally as the best event of the year.

SMC Masaka Rally

All talk about this rally is the night stages.

Sebuguzi faring through the night stages of SMC Masaka rally
[/media-credit] Sebuguzi faring through the night stages of SMC Masaka rally Credit:

It was indeed a new experience for the new generation of fans and drivers. The rally routes with a spectator stage on day two made the event one to remember this year. That coupled by Ronald Sebuguzi’s remarkable recovery to take second place after a roll on day two.

Kabalega Hoima Rally

A very well organised event characterised by a good beginning and a bad ending. The event put to light all the stakeholders of the sport to test and eventually exposed the crews on how best they knew the rules that run the sport.

The FMU Senate was called to work after the stewards and appeals committee failed to solve the Hoima saga. Hoima makes it to the memorable events this year after registering only two finishers as well as waking up crews that rules indeed apply in the sport.

Pearl of Africa Rally

Like before, the hype that comes with Pearl rally never changed and for the second consecutive year it was the Africa rally championship title decider. The entries both local and foreign were on point until the worse came to worst.

The FIA observers referred to it as the worst organised Pearl rally ever. All crews have a reason to remember Pearl rally.

Kenya's Don Smith during Pearl of Africa rally
Kenya’s Don Smith during Pearl of Africa rally Credit: © Kawowo Sports

To the foreign crews, the enthusiastic rally fans took centre of their memories before the poor organisation came in.

Jas Mangat’s dominance

Mangat makes it on the list of the memorable features this year entirely because of his dominance and pace. His return to Uganda alone stimulated the competition and he showed he learnt a lot from competition in the Kenya championship.

Mangat won all the events he competed in this year, save for the Hoima elimination. Mangat continued to be the benchmark for other crews and no wonder he won the 2016 NRC title.

Hassan Alwi’s progress

The crew of Alwi/Olinga is one not to be forgotten about in this season. In just a short time, Alwi found himself among the top guns in the country. He certainly will be one to look at next year.

Hassan Alwi (R) and navigator after after winning the Pearl Rally
[/media-credit] Hassan Alwi (R) and navigator after after winning the Pearl Rally Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Winning the prestigious Pearl Rally on his first attempt in a four-wheel drive car is testament to his growth. And a second place finish in the championship can all but spur the IUEA Driver to better things.

Ronald Sebuguzi’s misfortune 

The way Sebuguzi feels about this season doesn’t differ much from the fraternity. From having a great start to having a worst season ever. He was a title contender until it all went from bad to worse from round three in the championship.

Sebuguzi after suffering a roll on the final finish of Fort Portal rally
[/media-credit] Sebuguzi after suffering a roll on the final finish of Fort Portal rally Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

A roll at the finish in Fortportal to three successive DNFs spelt a horrible season for the three time national champion. Hopefully, he can bury the ghosts of 2016 and come back with better fortunes in 2017.

Quality of cars

The quality of cars in the country has greatly improved the past season and with it the quality of competition. This season Uganda has been running seven trending Mitsubishi Evo X.

Continuous rolls

Well, this season could be one with most rolls in the season. And not just rolls but memorable ones.

Jas Mangat rolled and went ahead to win the Hoima rally which was later ruled out, Sebuguzi rolling in Masaka and back on road. Omar Mayanja, Kepher Walubi, Ahmed Ashiraf, Adam Rauf, William Kabanda and many others contribute the roll aspect to be a memorable one.

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