The 2017 National Rally Championship series come to a finale in the Oryx Energies Heartbeat Rally this weekend in Masaka with any of three crews likely to claim the season title.
Christakis Fitidis leads with 375 points. Closely chasing is Duncan Mubiru and Ronald Sebuguzi on 305 and 300 points respectively.
While Fitidis only needs to finish not lower than fifth position, Mubiru and Sebuguzi must win the weekend’s event to stand a chance at the title.
But how have the three crews performed this season?
Christakis Fitidis/Eric Nzamwita – Mitsubishi Evo X
The 65-year-old has had a consistent season than any of his competitors. He has only participated in five of the six previous rounds finishing on podium in three events (Kayunga, Pearl and Hoima Rally) and fourth positions in Mbarara and and Fort Portal Rally.
His title contention turned for the better after winning the national slot in the Pearl Rally last June. Fitidis has since not looked back.
Fitidis only needs a top five finish in Masaka to seal his maiden Ugandan title.
Duncan Mubiru/Cedric Buzabo – Subaru Impreza
Kikankane’s performance has been subject to variation. Changing from a Mitsubishi Evo X to a Subaru N14, mechanical issues and the latest being a change in co-drivers.
Of the six rounds, he won the Kabale Rally before registering two DNFs (Did Not Finish) in Kayunga and Fort Portal Rally. He finished third in Mbarara and fourth among nationals during Pearl Rally.
Now at 70 points behind Fitidis, Mubiru will have to win the season finale and hope the leader finishes below sixth to stand any chances of a maiden title.
Ronald Sebuguzi/Leon Ssenyange – Mitsubishi Evo X
A win in Kayunga Rally, two second podium finishes, fourth position in Hoima and two DNFs. That is a summary of Sebuguzi’s performance this season.
Sebuguzi had his hopes high when he maintained the lead after NRC round three. But successive DNFs in Fort Portal and Pearl Rally cost the Shell sponsored driver points and the lead.
Just like Mubiru, Sebuguzi’s hopes for this year’s title can only come after a win and Fitidis’ final position in Masaka this weekend.
Meanwhile, the three crews will take on a total distance of 145.22 kilometres before the actual champion is announced.