Ronald Ssebuguzi Credit: John Batanudde

The motorsport fraternity has heaped praise on just concluded Pearl of Africa Rally. 

The three-day event had a new Clerk of the Course, Omar Mayanja, who only recently  switched from competition to event organisation. 

Despite the rainy weather conditions throwing the rally recce into a frenzy, the dry conditions on the race days provided for some exciting competition.

Safety was top notch as over 500 personnel had been deployed in the different departments. 

More so, the event also introduced a unique pattern which had crews end the rally with a Super Special Stage spicing up the excitement for the fans. 

The FIA Safety delegate William Louw commended the work of the organisers. 

“First of all, congratulations to the organisers. All departments have really stepped up from last year. I was really impressed. I know nothing is ever perfect. There is still a lot of work to do, but this was great.

“There is only one wish I have. Is for Ugandan organisers to learn to be on time. Rally is all about time. But time management is still a problem. And any delay disrupts the safety plans. So that is one area that needs to be worked on,” said Louw. 

William Louw | Credit: John Batanudde

Uganda’s huge number of fans has always had a great effect on the success of the event in regards to safety. However,  improvements were noticed this year.

“The fans are also beginning to understand why we are getting tough on the safety. I realised they are so compliant when asked to move to safety points. It is a plus for the association,” Louw added. 

Byron Rugomoka | Credit: John Batanudde

Prior to the start of the event, Kenya’s Karan Patel withdrew from the event citing the poor conditions of the stages that were unfavorable to their cars. 

However, Louw had a different opinion from the Kenyan. 

“I really don’t know what the driver said about the stages. But from a safety persecutive, the stages were fine, that is why they were approved. I went reccing on Wednesday and Thursday and I never had any concerns at one point of time. Even if the stages were wet, they would still be safe,” he asserted. 

Away from technical aspects, competitors expressed their gratitude for an event well organised. 

“This rally I believe was the best organised  Pearl I have ever attended. I am really proud that it has happened here. It was top. I want to take my heart out to the organisers,” Jas Mangat. 

Just like Mangat, the Moil crew also believes this was the best organised Pearl rally ever. 

“It’s so far the best POAUR ever organised. I wish to thank the COC and his entire crew for a job well done. During recce a majority of us thought otherwise but I had the faith in the team. A well dedicated team, stage commanders, time Marshals, safety team,” said Ali Katumba, Yasin Nasser’s co-driver. 

Pearl Rally ARC podium Credit: John Batanudde

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