Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba’s Africa Rally Championship attempts have paid off.
As Kenya’s Carl Tundo celebrated the coveted Africa Rally Championship title, Nasser and Katumba were equally in the celebratory mood after scooping the ARC2 category in last weekend’s Mountain Gorilla Rally in Rwanda last weekend.
On top of the main ARC title, several classes; ARC2, ARC3, and ARC Juniors were introduced to this year’s championship.
FIA Vice President in charge of Africa, Surinder Thatthi says the inclusion of classes is to widen the scope of competition.
“It was obvious that the N4 cars cannot match the R5 cars in the competition. We created the ARC2 category to attract more competition for the championship and the provision started this year. The winners of all categories will receive trophies from FIA,” said Surinder.
The MOIL-sponsored crew are now the ARC2 champions in their Subaru Impreza GVB.
The Ugandan champions collected 97 points from four events to seal the title with one event to end the season.
“To be honest, I didn’t know about the category at the time we decided to do ARC events. Thankfully, we have always been in the best position for the title.
“The whole team is super excited for the achievement, our efforts are worthy,” said an excited Nasser.
The road to the achievement has however been a cocktail of events.
“We encountered a number of challenges. Equator rally Kenya and the just concluded Rwanda rally were the most challenging. Mechanical issues took control of our contention.
“But since our strategy was always to finish an event.
“Our earlier motive was to gain experience since we had slim chances to edge the R5 cars. Indeed we acquired experience encountering some of the best drivers on the continent,” added Nasser.
Nasser and Katumba registered two podium finishes in Tanzania and Zambia rallies out of four events they participated in.
The crew is now contemplating taking part in the final ARC round in South Africa next month.
“I would personally want to have the South African experience. But it’s the team and sponsors to decide on that.
“We still have future plans for ARC. It is the reason why we had to have the experience this year,” he added.
In the overall classification, Nasser is currently third behind South Africa’s Guy Botterill and the new ARC champion Carl Tundo tops the championship.