Rajiv Ruparelia Credit: John Batanudde

Rajiv Ruparelia is optimist he will carry on his impressive performance from last year into the new season as he attempts to clinch this year’s National Rally Championship at the first time of asking.

Ruparelia made the highlights of the 2019 season following a thrilling breakthrough. With impressive pace, he notched several stage wins in the season’s last event. 

And despite missing out on winning the Clubman Rally Championship title, the 29-year-old stamped his name among potential contenders at the turn of the year.  

Rajiv Ruparelia during Hoima rally last year.

Now as the new season kicks off this weekend with Mbarara Rally, the rookie has set his focus on maximum points to open up for the title chase.

“It has been a lot of learning from the time I joined the competition. 

“Just because I have been winning stages before it doesn’t make me the best yet. The truth is, I am not even forty percent as a driver.

“I still have a lot to learn. But I will try to maintain my pace and see if I stand a chance with this year’s title,” said Rajiv. 

Rajiv will maintain his Volkswagen Polo Proto for the season.

However, the VW proto will be classified in Group S earning fewer points compared to the Group N cars in every event.  

“Honestly I don’t care about the points. Whether I score as Group S or not. Only winning will give me satisfaction regardless of the points. 

“So I will forget that my car is group S and concentrate on how to beat the Group N cars,” he added.

With the possible charge for a title could come a change in technical staff. Rajiv has however dispelled the rumour about a change of co-driver.

Rajiv Ruparelia(R) and Enoch Olinga Credit: John Batanudde

He has had Enoch Olinga calling the notes since July last year. 

“I am after building talent. I have no reason for changing a co-driver. We can only improve each other.

“And he can only be changed if the reason is unavoidable. But for now, Enoch is my co-driver,” he said. 

Rajiv further hinted on his plans for bigger competition ahead. 

“We are considering taking on Safari Rally and other events outside Uganda. Then later we go for Africa Rally Championship. 

“I am putting up some systems in place that will manage my progress. It’s the reason I have a manager, a chief mechanic, a professional trainer. All these will make me a good driver ready for big races. That’s what matters now,” he asserted. 

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think