Just like any competitive season, the 2019 national rally championship comprised of a series of  thrills, surprising acts, tension, disappointments as well as  controversies.  

From new crews, unexpected winners, fewer DNFs (didn’t not finish) and even sudden shifts in the regulations all contributed to what was an exciting season to remember. 

As the season disappears into the rear-view mirror, we take a look at the biggest winners of the season. 

Big winners

Yasin Nasser/ Ali Katumba (Subaru GBV)

The Moil rally team is not only the biggest winner but also the biggest surprise of the 2019 season. 

Yasin Nasser and Ali katumba after winning the prestigious Pearl rally (photo by: John Batanudde)

He was not among the favorites to win the title at the beginning of the season. Consistency, impressive pace and a good car made the crew stand out.  By mid season, they had claimed two podium positions including victory at the prestigious Pearl of Africa rally. And that put them direct into the title contention. 

They would later stick to a top five position with victory in the season finale to clinch their maiden national rally title. 

Ali Katumba and Yasin Nasser(photo by: John Batanudde)

Nasser and Katumba tested all determinants that make a champion; from tension, extreme preparations, consistency, drama and luck. 

They were undeniably the best crew for the year 2019. 

The champion car; Subaru GVB R4. Credit: John Batanudde

Samuel Watendwa/Steven Bunya (Toyota FX)

What a season for Samuel Watendwa in the Two-wheel drive category with his Toyota Corolla FX.

Samuel Watendwa and Steven Bunya

It has been a dramatic season for Watendwa despite leading the category for most of the season. 

Watendwa was neck and neck with the defending class champion Fred Senkumba, Sadat Negomba, Ismail Waliggo but managed to edge them all in the season finale to claim his maiden title. 

Samuel Watendwa

Ibrahim Lubega/ Mustafa Kanakulya (Toyota Corolla)

With the 2019 Clubman rally championship(CRC) title, Ibrahim Lubega surpassed all odds to become a champion. 

Libega’s CRC champion car.

Starting as a route opener in the season’s second round in Mukono but a swift in the regulations had him upgraded to the CRC category. 

With his competitors; Rajiv Ruparelia and Peter Businge possessing superior cars than his, Lubega had slim chances to the class title. 

However, luck was on his side during the NRC season finale when his rival Rajiv decided to cover more than the required 50 percent of the event eventually registering a DNF giving away the victory to Lubega. 

Arthur Blick Jr/George Semakula 

After four consecutive disappointing seasons, Arthur Blick Jr came out of the blocks fresh and with a bang. An impressive second position in Mbarara put some gusto into his title chase. 

Arthur Blick (R) and George Ssemakula, Pearl Rally Podium

Despite a few hiccups in the season, Blick later ended his four-year drought with victory in Fort Portal. That widen his chances for a shot on the title. 

He would push the title fight to the wire only to finish the season second behind winner Yasin Nasser. 

Arthur Blick Jr

However, Blick found the season consolation with a sprint championship title. 

Rajiv Ruparelia/Enoch Olinga

He may not have won any title like all other winners but Rajiv’s arrival on the rally scene was surely with a bang.

Rajiv Ruparelia’s VW proto

His pace in his first year of competitive racing has offered more to look forward to from the young lad in the coming season.

Rajiv Ruparelia and Enoch Olinga

Rajiv is likely to be hungrier for success in 2020 after inconsiderately missing out on the Clubman rally championship title.

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