Africa Rally Championship contenders Jas Mangat and Yasin Nasser suffered a blow when mechanical issues forced their retirement on the first leg of the Pearl of Africa Rally in Jinja on Saturday.
Jas Mangat co-driven by Joseph Kamya had picked the pace in the fifth stage producing a sublime run only for an oil leakage to end their day at the start of the sixth stage.
At the time, the crew was in second position behind Yasin Nasser.
“Generally, it was not the best of the day. We got so disappointed because at the time we dropped out, we had started feeling the car, the pace was there and we were enjoying it.
“We now have to pray all goes well for us on the last day,” said Joseph Kamya.
Yasin Nasser had power steering issues on his Ford Fiesta R5. He could only afford to limp through stages five and six.
The crew managed to reach the service but the mechanical issue on the car was so big to be fixed in the service time. They would later retire with a stage to end day one.
The crew was leading at the time of retirement.
“Sometimes mechanical problems are inevitable. And power steering issue is a bit complicated and needs more time. We could have fixed it and gone do the last stage but we were not so sure of the work done.
“Instead of spoiling the car more, we decided to do a thorough fix and restart on Sunday,” said Yasin.
The crews will start leg two with time penalties for each stage missed on Saturday.
Other crews on the ARC lineup that retired include Innocent Bwamiki and Mike Mukula.
Kenya’s Rio Smith now assumes the lead in the ARC category.