Uganda’s 2019 national rally champion crew of Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba will hold it all as they carry the Ugandan flag when the WRC Safari Rally rolls on this Thursday in Kenya.
The Moil-sponsored crew is the only crew from Uganda that got the all-clear following pre-event checks that left many African crews in a spot.
Ronald Sebuguzi, Kepher Walubi, Hassan Alwi, and Duncan Mubiru were among the thirty-one crews that didn’t comply with the technical requirements after scrutineering on Tuesday.
“We have been preparing for this event for a long time. We were so certain we had everything in place. The issue was on our pads and the roll cage certificate which we later provided.
“It was a bit stressful but we managed. Now we can’t wait to start what we waited for. Focus will be finishing the event,” says Nasser.
Nasser and Ali Katumba in their Subaru Impreza GVB were able to participate in the rally shakedown.
The other three Ugandan crews have been categorized under the Kenya National Rally championship.
“Honestly, we are a bit disappointed and all the effort the team invested in.
“We have always been in touch with the technical department to make sure we have everything in place before the event. And we were sure we did.
“But they wanted us to replace a few things and we did what we could and some parts were not readily available in Kenya,” explained Anthony Mugambwa; Ronald Sebuguzi’s co-driver.
However, Kepher Walubi believes he still has a chance to bounce back to the WRC category.
“I managed to get that was missing but by the time I returned to the scrutineering, they were closed. I wrote a letter to them, I hope they will clear me tomorrow before the super special stage,” said Walubi.
Meanwhile, it was excitement throughout as fans were entertained to the sounds of the new generation WRCs during shakedown.
Toyota Gazoo’s Sebastien Ogier posted the fastest time through the 5.4 kilometer stage. Ogier, the championship leader clocked 3mins and 42.6seconds while teammate Elfyn Evans was a tenth of a second behind. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was a second further back in third.
Crews will head to Nairobi for the Super Special at Kasarani and tackle 18 stages in Naivasha through the weekend.