Jaspreet Chatthe during the 2015 Pearl of Africa Rally Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] Jaspreet Chatthe during the 2015 Pearl of Africa Rally Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The 2017 Africa Rally Championship (ARC) contention will head to Uganda for the fourth round after close to two months of break.

This year, the Pearl of Africa Rally will come mid season on June 30th-2nd July.

Kayunga district will play the new host of this year’s edition of ARC while Motorsports Arena Busiika is maintained as the day one Super Special Stage.

The two day event is expected to cover a total competitive distance of 212.64kilometres.

Over ten ARC contenders from different countries are expected to resume the title battle as the championship gets half way after three events of the seven rounds.

The 2015 ARC champion Jaspreet Chatthe and Gurdeep Panesar are currently leading the championship with 30 points from three events.

The Kenyan champion will be counting on Pearl of Africa Rally to improve his chances of a second ARC title after disappointments in the previous two events; Safari Rally and York Rally in South Africa.

A ten minute penalty in Safari Rally pushed the Kibos crew in sixth position overall while in South Africa, an off in the second last stage had him move from second to tenth position overall.

However, Chatthe’s previous performance in the 2015 Pearl of Africa Rally is expected to stimulate his contention. He registered a two-fold victory; hitting his maiden Pearl Rally win and finish as well as claiming the ARC title.

Meanwhile, the Zambian couple of Leroy Gomes and Urshlla Gomes will not give any chance to the ARC category challenge.

The couple is currently in second position four points behind leader Jaspreet Chatthe.

[/media-credit] Leroy Gomes and Urshlla Gomes during Safari rally Credit: Africa Rally Archives

The Zambians are debutant on ARC race and started the campaign with the ARC season opener in Ivory Coast where they registered a DNF (Did Not Finish).

On their debut in Uganda, a top finish in the ARC category will guarantee them high hopes of their maiden ARC title.

Kenya’s Carlo Tundo and South Africa’s Guy Botterill tie in third position with 25 points each.

The ARC battle will be spiced up with a clique of Ugandan crews that registered for this year’s ARC including last year’s Pearl Rally winner Hassan Alwi.

Duncan Mubiru, Yasin Nasser, Christakis Fitidis, Kepher Walubi will all be up for the ARC battle during Pearl Rally.

Other crews expected for the ARC battle include Kenya’s Manvir Baryan, Valery Bukera from Burundi among others.

Meanwhile, six crews different have won Pearl of Africa Rally in the last six years and it is just a matter of time to find out the next winner of the most prestigious rally event in Uganda.

Previous Pearl Rally winners in the past six years.

  • 2011 Ponsiano Lwakataka (Uganda)
  • 2012 Muhammed Essa (Zambia)
  • 2013 Jas Mangat (Uganda)
  • 2014 Rajbir Rai (Kenya)
  • 2015 Jaspreet Chatthe (Kenya)
  • 2016 Hassan Alwi (Uganda)

Top six ARC standings

  1. Jaspreet Chatthe/Gurdeep Panesar 30 points
  2. Leroy Gomes/Urshlla Gomes 26
  3. Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop 25
  4. Guy Botterill/Simon Lacey 25
  5. Kleevan Gomes/Eric Small 16
  6. Manvir Baryan/Drew Sturrock 15

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