The second round of the National Rally Championship in Jinja last weekend proved a nightmare for Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru.
Mubiru who was confident he would elevate his title bid with another top position saw his chances diminish from the on-set.
On the opening day, his co-driver Musa Nsubuga was involved in an altercation with fellow competitor Ponsiano Lwakataka.
That left Nsubuga nursing a bloody nose. He, however, managed to get through the day’s opening stage but with plenty of time lost.
The crew ended day one in seventh position; 53 seconds behind day one leader Hassan Alwi.
“On Saturday my pace was restricted. There is no way I could push harder when my co-driver had some pains, I could hurt him more.
“But I was glad we started day one. I thought that was the end for Jinja rally,” he told Kawowo Sports.
Nsubuga and Lwakataka were later handed a cash penalty of Shs 500,000/= for indiscipline.
Mubiru had another chance to try and salvage the lost time. But with some dip in confidence, the crew ran out of luck in stage four of the final day when they rammed into Godfrey Lubega’s in a competitive stage.
Mubiru believes the incident could have been avoided.
“We were so disappointed with the incident. It could have been avoided if Lubega’s crew showed a danger sign like it’s required for every crew that gets a fault in the stage.
“In that same spot, Lubega and Kateete went off. That should have alerted them on how bad the sport was and put a triangle for the coming crews.
“Some crews luckily passed it well, but still it doesn’t stop one from alerting them. That showed us that some crews have tools that they don’t know how to use.
In the rally regulations, when a crew gets an incident in the stage, they are supposed to display a RED “SOS” or GREEN “OK” signs to alert oncoming competitors.
Mubiru has, however, put all Jinja disappointments behind him and is looking forward to a more stern fight for this year’s title.
“The championship is still so open. My plans for this year was to take it slow and collect points from each event.
“But after losing points in Jinja, the strategy has changed. I will be pushing to the limit in the remaining events focusing on not only points but also the top spots,” he asserts.
Mubiru and Nsubuga are currently fourth on the NRC leaderboard; 40 points behind leader Fred Busulwa.
Top five driver’s standings
- Fred Busulwa 130points
- Omar Mayanja 110
- Hassan Alwi 100
- Duncan Mubiru 90
- Ponsiano Lwakataka 80