Vivo- Energies sponsored Drivers L-R Anthony Mugambwa(Navigator), Arthur Blick Jr and Ronald Ssebuguzi pose before the reeve off the Shell Pearl of Africa Rally (Credit: John Batanudde)

Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Rally 2022:

  • 6th – 8th May
  • *Lugazi (SCOUL) Sugar Estate & Kasaku Tea plantations

With the final preparations for the 2022 Pearl of Africa Rally including scrutineering of the machines is done and dusted, attention turns to the event proper in the Lugazi sugar estate and Kasaku tea plantations.

Domestic and foreign crews will compete for the coveted prize at stake as the speedster reeve off into action.

Vivo-Energies sponsored crew of Arthur Blick Jr and Ronald Ssebuguzi received the “final blessings” on Thursday, 5th May at Shell Lugogo, Kampala.

Ronald Ssebuguzi addresses the media at Shell Lugogo in Kampala (Credit: John Batanudde)

This was moments after the scrutineering session at Shell Namanve, Wakiso district.

Racing in his 18th Pearl of Africa rally event, Ssebuguzi, who is navigated by Anthony Mugambwa is optimistic of a podium finish after a try out through the routes in the earlier days.

“The Pearl Rally returns after a two-year absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all excited. This will be my 18th pearl and I am working towards nothing but a podium finish. The routes are well balanced. There rough and wet sections. I am prepared to go. Thanks to Shell and other partners for the support” Ssebuguzi told reporters at Lugogo.

Ssebuguzi confirmed he will be racing in the Evo 9 and not 10 as earlier planned.

His counterpart Blick Junior, who will be driving alongside his son Alistair Blick urged the fans for total support and discipline in the route throughout the rally event.

“Team Shell is here to entertain you and deliver the best. We urge the fans to rally us behind but be aware of safety precautions by the officials. The preparations have been great, the routes are excellent and we shall give our best” Blick Jr. revealed.

Arthur Blick Jr addressing the media at Shell Lugogo (Credit: John Batanudde)

Support of foreign crew:

Blick Jr. believes that foreign crews that shall take part in this rally will give the domestic based drivers a great show of competition.

“It is great to have the foreign crews here. They will definitely push us and we ought to learn a few things from them. Perhaps, we are ready to compete healthily” he added.

This year, there are more foreign crews than in the last four years.

Kenya has six, Rwanda (2) whilst Burundi and Zambia has one apiece.

LeRoy Gomes’ Ford Fiesta R5 during scrutineering at Shell Namanve on Thursday, 5th May 2022 (Credit: John Batanudde)

ARC contenders Karan Patel (Kenya) and Leroy Gomes (Zambia) both in Ford Fiesta R5 will lead the charge for the ARC points.

Gomes tops the leaderboard with 54points. Second-placed Patel has 30 points.

Reighing national Champion Duncan Mubiru under going scruutering at Shell Namave (Credit: John Batanudde)

In total, there are forty-nine (49) crews from across the continent in the most prestigious event of Uganda.

Unlike in the previous events, there is a qualifying stage which has been included in the itinerary.

The 2.50 kilometre stage will provide the start order for the ARC entry crews.

Crews will later tackle four stages all repeated covering a total of 195.21 kilometres for Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Sponsors and Partners:

Shell leads the cast of sponsors after a Shs. 250,000,000 contribution.

Others are KCB Bank (70,000,000), Fire and Safety Appliances Limited, East African Chain Uganda Limited, Kampala Nile Resort Hotel, Namanve among others.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think Cancel reply